Colby is a nice hunter, eventing, or dressage prospect. He’s walk, trot, canter under saddle and has been introduced to trotting small poles and cross-rails. He shows outstanding sport potential for an advanced rider with the experience to bring a young horse along (or someone who can work with a good trainer). Adoption Fee: $750
Colby originally arrived at Helping Hearts Equine Rescue in emaciated condition on May 25, 2013.
He was adopted out to a wonderful woman in Sept., 2013. He came back to the rescue (Nov, 2015) due to time and resource constraints. Reason for Return: “After much deliberation on my part as well as my trainers we have decided that Colby and I just aren’t a great match for each other. While I love him to pieces and we’ve come along way it’s just we butt heads too much. He needs a more quiet and more consistent ride than I can give him right now. With the demands of work being so great right now. He is going great under saddle and even trotting small fences I just can’t give him the constant riding he needs.”
Please contact Helping Hearts Equine Rescue for more details:
Our rides from April 28 to mid-December, 2014…
After Wizard returned home from wintering at the veterinary clinic in March 2014, we had a fun, happy, (mostly) healthy, and productive spring, summer, and fall.
A partial list of our accomplishments, escapades, and memorable moments:
– A fun spring and fall series of hunter paces with Christina and Saffy. Wizard is fun and forward-thinking on the trails. He’s more relaxed and there are fewer of his anxiety episodes. When he does have them, he normally can go back to “zero” in shorter amounts of time than in the past. The biggest and greatest change is that he’s now very happy to lead OR follow. Saffy has been a perfect trail partner for him, and the two of them take turns switching off as the leader.
– A Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure. Our team raised over $1,200 for a good cause, and the horses sported some seriously pink wardrobes.
– A short ride with no bridle. Wizard just felt like he would be fine without a bridle, so I took it off, and he was fine. Quiet, easy, and a nice yardstick of our progress.
– Improvements in all gaits. Wizard’s trot is stronger and more balanced, and he’s learning how to take contact with the bit. It only took us 6+ years of awkward attempts and exercises to get that connection. Wizard’s gallop is also improving. He gives me less of the head ducking and crab-walking and more of a forward, springy hand gallop.
– Our jumping was sort of on and off. We hade leaps and bounds (pun intended) for a few months in the spring, and then I could feel him getting anxious again in the late summer. I backed off and we’ve been working from the ground up again.
– We schooled over cross country jumps on a proper cross country field for the first time! It was humbling and fun at the same time, and I hope to do more of that next year.
– We almost went to a horse show. Wizard was alllll gussied up for a schooling show, where he was going to do a model class and two dressage tests, but then we had some trailering and trailer issues and instead we ended up taking some fun photos of a braided Wizard at home.
– We spent hours and hours and hours in the Assunpink, both with friends and by ourselves, in the daylight and by the light of the moon. It’s the best thing in the world for our physical and mental health.
And a partial list of things I’ve learned and some things that are currently working for Wizard:
– In November, Wizard tested positive for Lyme Disease (again). Our treatment this time around was Oxytet injections (administered IV by a veterinarian), followed by a course of minocycline. He’ll be done with his treatment this Wednesday. I haven’t seen a huge change in him, but I’ll continue to monitor him.
– His feet are looking pretty great. While we worked with a special farrier who used rocker shoes and x-rays last winter (2013-14), our plan for this winter (2014-15) is instead to move him to a farm where he’s stalled at night to give his feet a break and let them dry. So far, so good. He’s in regular shoes. His frogs look much healthier, and his heels are not running under as much as they were a year ago. 24/7 turnout is the best thing in the world for his body and mind, but stalling in the winter seems to be the way to go for his feet. Of course, I’m VERY fortunate that the barn owners at these farms are gracious enough to let me winter at one barn and summer at another, and I’m grateful that I know such a great group of local farms.
– On a related note, Wizard really seems to enjoy the footing at our winter barn. It’s a synthetic blend, and it’s on the firm side. He springs along quite happily, and snorts like a racehorse when we first step into the (HUGE) arena.
– Our bit of choice for 2014 is a French link eggbutt snaffle. Mild, quiet in his mouth, and less jiggly than some other bits.
– So far so good on the saddle. The fitter checked it in September or so, and she was VERY impressed with his muscling- he gained a tremendous amount of topline muscle.
– Under the saddle, I started using an Ogilvy pad. So far, so good.
– All spring, summer, and fall, Wizard was fed Pennfield Ultra Energized Senior and Purina Amplify. His weight was pretty consistent, and he held his muscle well since I was able to keep him in light, consistent work for most of he year.
– This is nothing new, but I need to say it anyway: exercise and fitness makes you a better rider. Once I got my back issues under control, I was able to get into a running schedule. I lost a lot of weight, and was fit enough to run six miles. When I’m that fit, I ride my best. Now that it’s dark so early and I’m wrapped up in 8,000 other things, I only have time to ride and I have not been running. I immediately gained weight and am not as fit as I was over the summer. Hopefully I can get motivated again, because my back never felt better, and I’m sure that Wizard appreciated a lighter, fitter pilot.
– One of my biggest lessons in riding has been to not be afraid of contact. Don’t create static in the bit. Hold the reins like you mean it, release like you mean it, and your horse will appreciate it.
– My other lesson was to WAIT for the hind end to engage. Don’t get ahead of him. Wait, and you’ll get there together.
And a few more photos from the year…
There’ll never be another Camelot again.
A New Jersey livestock auction was the furthest thing from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ mind when she said those words, but it doesn’t make the quote any less true. Five years ago, I photographed the horses at Camelot Auction in Cranbury, NJ for the first time. Over photographed 4,500 equines (including my rough estimate of over 400 ponies, 400 Paints and pintos, 375 Quarter Horses, 300 Thoroughbreds, 220 gaited horses, 200 donkeys, 160 miniature horses, 150 draft horses, 140 Appaloosas, 120 Haflingers, 100 Standardbreds, 100 Arabians, 80 mules, 50 warmbloods, and hundreds with no breed announced) later, I’m paying my last visit to Camelot, camera in hand. Auction owners Frank and Monica Carper will hold their final livestock sale on Wednesday, December 17, and an era will end. The property will be leased and the horse sale will continue under another name.
Although the horse networking effort now known as Camelot Horse Weekly officially began in November, 2009, reaching out and helping horses at risk of shipping to slaughter is not a new concept. What was unique about Camelot Horse Weekly was the 83,000-strong horse lovers in the network, the reach that the effort had, the number of horses it helped, and the fact that it was all organized by unpaid volunteers.
As the volunteer effort expanded, my role in the network evolved. Every Thursday, I visited the sales barn and photographed the horses who were unsold at the previous night’s auction. Initially, my mom kept track of the list as we went through the barn, and I photographed the horses loose in the pens. After a few months, friends accompanied me in the pens and held the horses for the photos. If you’ve ever photographed horses, you know how precise things need to be to get just the right angle and just the right pose. My friend Rachel has a great talent for posing horses in photos, and once we started bringing the horses outside, the photos took on a new look. Chronic back pain forced me to reduce the amount of time that I spent doing photo work, and Ida and Mark Howell generously helped with the majority of Thursday photos in the past year or so.
At the end of every week’s photo session, I made a habit of taking “just one last photo.” The photo was sometimes a horse with a striking appearance, sometimes it was a sunbeam hitting a strand of mane in just the right light, sometimes it was a weanling in the pony pen who was too friendly to be ignored. These photos were always my favorites, and I shared them at the end of the night after photos of all of the available horses were posted online. The popularity of these photos inspired the Horses and Hope Calendar Project, which raised well over $100,000 to help horses in need, and funded medical and feed grants through the work of One Horse at a Time, Inc. Related note: thank you for your inquiries about the Horses and Hope calendar. Unfortunately, we were not able to publish a 2015 calendar, but we hope to be back next year with a 2016 version.
Photography is a wonderful thing. It can bring your mind back to a memory with incredible detail. When I look back at my “one last photo” collection over the past five years, I feel warm horse breath on the top of my head while I crouch down for a photo. I smell the alfalfa hay. I feel the wooly winter coat of a Shetland pony. I hear nickers of recognition and snorts of concern. And this is what I see:
Below is a letter from Frank and Monica Carper of Camelot Auction:
Dear Ladies and Gents,
If someone had told me five years ago that horse rescues and tons of regular folks would step up and help find (and be) homes for horses that weren’t getting sold, or were being sold for slaughter, doubtful would have been my thought. Words after the first six months or so? Shocked, speechless and amazed are a good summation of what we thought would surely be a short-lived endeavor, boy were we wrong.
It started innocently enough with some networking and a few pictures from Lisa Post. Then a board on Alex Brown Racing (Friends of Barbaro) that also sent out to other groups about the horses that were landing in the #10 pen. If I remember correctly, November of 2009 was the first time that the pen was cleared. A landmark for sure and a testament to the ladies who checked horses, took notes and pictures in crowded pens so horses got a chance.
Sarah Andrew, equine photographer, called and asked if she could come and take pictures. The next few years are history, with beautiful ‘glamor pics’ and a few totally awesome calendars that helped to support the mission of One Horse At A Time with their gelding fund. Because of Sarah’s generosity with her time and talent, countless horses found a new life. When Sarah injured her back (she’s ok now), Ida and Mark Howell graciously stepped in to continue in Sarah’s footsteps.
Also along the way several new rescues were started, and some established ones got new energy and focus. To have watched these rescues grow and find their ‘spot’ is simply amazing. The lives they saved, and the public education that was generated is enormous. To have been a part of that… fabulous, and humbling for sure. To say that there was a huge learning curve when it came to working with the rescues would be an understatement, but it was worth it. A complete shift of thought process.
To remember the beginning of the Camelot Horse Weekly page on Facebook, wow, just wow. The major excitement when there was 5,000 likes!! Now there are how many, over 83,000 as of this writing!! To know that because of that page and the ladies who started it – what were unwanted horses (and a few kittens and bunnies) have gone on to caring homes in almost every state including Hawaii!! Canada, England and Bermuda too!!
To have our “little ginger dog” Rosa become the poster child for the ‘all clear’, and to have had Penny Austin write stories about her and her exploits, warms every corner of our hearts.
Frank and I started Camelot Auction on August 1, 1994, and here we are twenty years later saying goodbye with our last sale on December 17, 2014. It would take a novel to write about all the incredible people and horses that we’ve met over the years, and I’m not sure if that would even cover it. The changes in the industry and the world itself, from the first home computer and the infancy of the internet, who thought then that computers would become such an integral part of our lives?
After all this rambling on, it’s still hard to say what I came to say, which is farewell. I’m all choked up and stalling about the inevitable. I know that we can’t personally shake each hand, and kiss each cheek, and hug every person we’ve had the great pleasure to encounter, but know that we’d like to for sure! One of the big smiles of every day is looking at the Camelot New Beginnings page on Facebook and seeing the horses happy and cared for. That makes the craziness, tears, joy and angst all worthwhile.
Thank you especially to all the CHW Ladies for more than words can say.
Thank you to all the rescues, words are inadequate once again.
Thank you all for caring, and opening your hearts for these horses, most times from only a picture.
Thanks for creating a new path where there was none, and leaving markers for others to follow.
Thanks for the love, and the hate, a powerful combination for forging change.
Thanks for showing an old horse trader that yup, these horses are wanted.
Thanks for being the greatness that the world, and these animals needed.
Thanks for your kindness, your determination, and for your decency.
Thanks for the memories, we’ll never forget them, or you.
~Monica, Frank and everyone at Camelot
Guest blogger Jonathan Andrew: the inside scoop on Someday Sessions, the new album by Joshua Van Ness & MOR
I am proud to announce the upcoming release of Someday Sessions, the new album by Joshua Van Ness & MOR.
A little backstory: the band was convened by songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Joshua Van Ness to back him up at the release show for his first solo album, DNA, in fall 2008. He called in his former bandmate from Souls’ Release (your dashing author) to play bass guitar. Eric Blankenship, a lifelong friend and long-ago bandmate of Joshua, took on lead guitar duties. And Joe Beninati, whom Joshua had met on the music scene years earlier and crossed paths with time and time again, manned the drum kit.
Much to our surprise, this one-off band had great chemistry and ended up performing together regularly over the ensuing 5+ years. I’ve spent my nights and weekends playing rock music for the better part of two decades, and performing with this group of guys has been one of the clear-cut highlights for me.
At some point, we casually named ourselves the Men of Rock (shortened to MOR) after Eric addressed an email with this offhand greeting. With the addition of saxophonist/percussionist Ralph Capasso in 2011 and John Van Ness (Joshua’s brother) on keyboards and guitar in 2013, the present lineup was complete. Various members of MOR had appeared on different tracks on Joshua’s two previous solo albums (both produced by John), but this year marked the first time we set out to record as a band.
Performing live is my favorite aspect of being a musician. Nothing beats locking into a groove with your fellow musicians and feeling the energy build and build, playing off the audience and each other to take the music higher and higher. MOR is first and foremost a live act, so when the time came for us to enter the studio, we decided to try to capture our live sound and feel to the best of our ability.
With John behind the board again as producer/engineer, Joe, Eric, Joshua, and I performed the basic instrumental tracks together in real time in our basement studio. Our hope was that we would capture the magic of playing off each other and creating music in the moment, like during our live shows.
The song that I think best demonstrates our live-band-in-the-studio approach is funky rocker “Twenty in Two.” In fact, it was the first track we completed on the first day of recording, and it set the tone for the rest of the album. Once we heard the playback of this take, we were convinced that the live-tracking approach was the way to go.
After the bulk of the album had been recorded in this fashion, we filled out the tracklisting with a few songs that we built piece-by-piece at individual recording sessions. Finally, we recorded the vocals, John and Ralph’s instrumental contributions, and other overdubs to complete the album. I can truly say that I have never had as much fun recording as I did this winter and spring when we were working on Someday Sessions.
The release party for Someday Sessions is taking place this coming Saturday, 8/2, at the legendary Bitter End on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. We’ll be playing a set heavy on songs from the album, and will have copies of the CD for sale. Our set begins at 9 PM. We are all extremely proud of this record and hope that it reaches the ears and hearts of many people as possible.
March 11- April 24
Our bitter, wet, volatile winter is over, whew!
Wizard got his second set of rocker shoes on March 27, and he feels great. We got in several great rides indoors while we were staying at the clinic, including a lesson. We worked on exercises to loosen up Wizard’s topline and get him comfortable on his “new feet.”
On March 31, Wizard came home from the clinic. Although he received first-class treatment at the clinic, he was THRILLED to return to his friends and to outdoor living. I thought he’d take a week or so to settle in, but he was back to his routine in a matter of half an hour or so. And his turnout buddies were DELIGHTED to have him back. I can’t imagine what horses think when their friends vanish and reappear like that.
I’d like to think that the shoeing change is a contributing factor to Wizard’s under-saddle behavior. He’s currently riding the BEST he’s ever ridden! He feels balanced, confident, and relaxed. The massage therapist worked on him on the 3rd of April and the chiropractor saw him on the 8th, and both were very pleased with his muscling and demeanor. He was out in a lower cervical vertebra, his withers, a little tight on the right side of his back, and some minor pelvic asymmetry. His adjustment went well, and the chiropractor said that he looked and felt the best that she has ever seen in the five-plus years that she has been working on him.
I started Wizard back on the Pennfield Energized Senior on January 31, and he’s still eating it very well. He seems to prefer it to the Triple Crown Senior or the Purina Ultium. He’s shiny and his weight looks good, so we’ll stick to what is working.
Once we returned from the clinic to our farm, I did my best to get him out every day that I could make time for him. We’ve been hitting the trails in earnest, especially since there are very few bugs out right now (only gnats). The peepers started around Saint Patrick’s Day, and I’m assuming that the flies will be back soon.
On the trails, sometimes we ride solo and sometimes we ride with barn buddies. I’m stepping up our canter work, and Wizard is rising to the challenge. His trot feels better, too, with more freedom in the shoulder. I also popped him over a few little jumps, and he’s willing, balanced, and scopey. I think we might be ready to take the next step with our training. My fingers are crossed for a great year with him.