Scarred and Discarded

A Surprise Happy Ending
By Pauline Stotsenburg of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH)

Dutch after one year of rehab. Now plays in a pasture and has friends. Getting use to humans and is slowing building up trust.

2013 a Walking Horse,  his  pasterns covered in scars from years of  chemical abuse and the use of chains, making   it impossible  to pass  the inspections associated with the Horse Protection Act, is dumped by his owners.

Sold in the  parking lot of a Kentucky auction,   then taken to  a sale in Tennessee and  sold to a known killer buyer,  he was  hauled to a sale in Pennsylvania .  There he was spotted , wearing his big lick package,  in a pen where horses with no future were kept before being auctioned.

It is against the federal  law to sell a horse with  scars from soring practices at a public sale. A USDA investigation was initiated. He was given his  name, Dutch, because of the Pennsylvania connection.

dumped at auction with pads and when removed (slowly) pressure shoeing had been done on him as well
dumped at auction with pads and when removed (slowly) pressure shoeing had been done on him as well

The battered gelding was taken to   a local  rescue and examined by veterinarians.  The scars and condition of his feet were documented.  It appeared he had been  subjected to pressure shoeing. Scurffing of his skin was evidence of chemical applications.

After a year, the  USDA issued warnings  to the people involved in the sales.   The auction houses received warnings.   The original owners escaped detection.  USA Today was interested in Dutch’s story and he made national news.  What happened to him then?

Unlike other Walking Horses  that have been dumped, Dutch’s story has a happy ending. He was adopted into a forever home.  His physical   and emotional needs are met. Part  of a five horse herd,  he has learned that it’s safe to leave the stall,  the place where he spent most of his life,  for adventures in  the outdoors.

permanent scars that he will carry for life
permanent scars that he will carry for life

The  scars remain; he has COPD;  he will  require supportive shoeing for the rest of his life. But, more importantly,  he happily runs to greet visitors;  he tosses his feed pan back and forth with his stall cleaner;  he is addicted to Uncle Jimmy’s Squeezy Buns.   Dutch  is a bit of a clown.

In his 20s, he lives  joyfully and abundantly. Part of an animal trust,  he  will be buried at home  when  that time comes.  He will never be exploited again. The next part of Dutch’s life will be better than the first.

He  is the  living example of why the PAST Act must be enacted. PAST will end the soring, stacking,  and chaining used to produce unnatural gaits for the show ring and increase penalties for violators. It takes a call to your representative and senators to make a difference for all the other horses like Dutch,  the ones that are waiting for soring to be stopped forever.


0This story appeared in the October Issue of the ACTHA Monthly Magazine.  To see more stories like this visit this month’s issue >>


It’s Monday- It’s Cruddy- But don’t let it ruin your week!

Cruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week!

Dr. Rose is here to help with her weekly Skinterventions. Dr. Rose DiLeva has been the CEO and owner of Animal Wellness Center and Mobile Veterinary Services, P.C. located in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania since 1999. Her approach to animal health care is holistic in nature. Dr. Rose is also an award-winning author and an animal health contributor for FOX News, ABC News Channel 6 in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Each week, she will be providing helpful skin care information and tips. AND on 1/12, we’ll ask you a question about our posts and the first person to correctly answer the question will receive a YEAR’s supply of Dr. Rose Remedies, all-natural and proven skin treatment salves and sprays for your horse.

Check out more info at:

Dealing with skin problems, unfortunately, is part of having a horse. Since skin is the largest organ of the body, it’s no wonder there’s much that can go wrong. Designed to safeguard internal organs from external forces and to help maintain consistent temperature, water, and nutrient levels, the skin is an integral part of a horse’s health.

Dr. Rose notes that the first step in treating skin problems is by identify the types of lesions observed. The most common include:

  • Papule–a solid skin elevation;
  • Pustule–a skin elevation with an inflamed base that contains pus;
  • Vesicle–a membranous and usually fluid-filled pouch;
  • Bulla–an elevation containing watery fluid;
  • Wheal–a flat, burning, or itching lesion;
  • Macule–a patch of discolored skin; and
  • Nodule–an abnormal, knobby protrusion.

During the next 3 weeks, we’ll review the following common skin aliments you’re most liable to come across during your tenure as a horse owner. If you’re able to catch and define them early enough, it should make treatment easier.

-Ringworm, Hives, Scratches, Rain Rot, Skin Discharge/Seborrhea and Dry/Itchy Skin and Tails


Women Entrepreneurs of the Equine Industry: Molly Rush

From Newspaper Girl to Nationally Renowned Silversmith Shoppe

Molly in 1969 with Moonglow, a childhood horse
Molly in 1969 with Moonglow

Molly has never been the type of individual to allow standards to get in her way. At age 12, in a world where it wasn’t typical to see girls working as ‘paper boys’, Molly worked throwing newspapers before and after school. She set out to increase her customers by 100 in order to achieve one ambitious goal: buying her own horse, her first horse, with her own money. She did just that. And so began an incredible journey of determination and, as Molly calls it, “The start of building my skills”.

A few years ago, Molly’s local riding club asked members what they wanted for year end awards. The answer was easy for Molly, “I want a buckle!” But the club said they couldn’t afford it. Molly wanted that buckle, and she knew other riders would feel as strongly about it as she, so she started her business, Molly’s Custom Silver, with the objective of providing quality buckles real people can afford. The rest is history.

“Just like that 12 year old girl on her paper route, Molly set out to achieve an ambitious goal, and did just that.”

The Horsewoman Behind the Silver

Molly and Katie

Molly bought her first horse at age 12 with money she earned herself throwing newspapers. She bought an untrained 2 year old Quarter Horse for $200 dollars. Not having the funds to hire professional training, Molly set out to train her new horse on her own. “The first time that horse went home without me, my mother panicked and searched for me. After that time she just told everyoneMolly and her Haflinger Team

“Don’t worry, Babe is here and Molly will soon be home.” Walking home after getting thrown a few times was the start of building my skills. Maybe not the best way, but it worked,” states Molly.

Since the days of her first horse, Molly has owned several different breeds of horses, riding both Western and English. She also has learned from IMG_9159many great trainers. “I greatly value the lessons I learned while riding hunt seat and dressage using those skills in my western riding and carriage driving. I have a great respect for what we can learn from other disciplines, it is all related because no matter what breed or style you choose they are still horses and they still operate basically the same way, mechanically and mentally,” Molly stated. In 2009, Molly and her buckskin mare, Katie, qualified for the World Championships for the EXCA – Extreme Cowboy Race.

sheriff air support helicopter MollyMolly also had an interesting career joining the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy when she was 21 years old. Through her 28 years of law enforcement experience, she performed an array of duties including becoming the 6th female officer to patrol in a department of 2,500 deputies. “It was just part of history as women were not accepted so easily, to say the least, but it all worked out,” tells Molly. Her other assignments included under-cover operations, Narcotics operations, Piloting the Department Helicopter and also performing special Mounted Patrol Operations.

Molly is not afraid to try new things!

Molly has gone from the simple childhood dream of riding a horse, to becoming a law enforcement officer and today an entrepreneur. Molly’s buckles are manufactured for nearly any budget. She can create buckles with a huge variety of themes by adding figures for all equine disciplines and sports. In addition to horses, figures for just about anything else can be used; fishing, hunting, livestock, dogs, wildlife, sports, shooting, shotguns, pistols, badges, mounted officers, golf and even bowling.

Molly states, “If you don’t see what you are looking for, just ask. We are always pleased to be a part of making silver products as individual, unique and creative as possible.”

Molly and Katie Take the Blue in Open

Molly and Katie taking the Blue in Open

Molly and her buckskin pint mare, Katie, competed in an ACTHA ride a few weeks ago in Riverside, California. The team took a Blue Ribbon in Open at the Murray Ranch where the ride was held. Congratulations to Molly and Katie!

Molly’s Custom Silver, the Official Silversmith of ACTHA
Stunning Craftsmanship, ~ Built for Champions

mollyVisit Molly’s website today, you can only be more impressed by seeing Molly’s buckles and silver products in person. In keeping with Molly’s original objective, you can be assured of finding products to suit every budget.  Molly’s online store is full of a great selection of stock items which are ready for delivery today!  Be sure and have a look at the line of THREE PIECE BUCKLE SETS.  Don’t wear just any buckle, wear one that speaks to your personal style, and get a pair of matching conchos to go with it, too.  See online >> 

It’s the perfect time to work with Molly on designing your own personal buckle to keep or give away. Design it now to have ready in time for Christmas. Heirloom quality products uniquely personalized.

Order online >>
See a sample from sketch to buckle >>

Order now and receive your custom silver products in time for Christmas!  Be sure and tell Molly that ACTHA sent you!

Portions of this article were obtained from an article originally published by Roger Edison

Safe Keeping at Camp

Those of us who routinely horse camp often invest quite a bit of thought toward the safe keeping of our horses while camping overnight.  Many facilities provide stall leasing or have available paddocks to keep overnight horse guests.  For some, leaving home without such accommodations may prove a deal breaker for a ride or event we’d like to participate in, or at the very least my prohibit us from staying overnight.  However, with a little forethought, planning and courage, we can learn to manage our horses overnight quite well, without any accommodations at all.  The tremendous advantage to this is freedom and a well earned sense of independence.  It’s not as intimidating as one might imagine, you just have to approach the idea with an open mind and give yourself a chance to get the hang of it.

Generally when you are horse camping, you have the opportunity to tap into the experience and wisdom of other available campers who may share their own tips for overnight keeping, or even be willing to double check your set up until you feel confident on your own.  This is one of the great things about horse people, we love to share knowledge and learn.

High Lining
Of all the overnight camping methods for horses, high lining between two trees is likely the most safe and convenient method.  With this method, all your overnight equipment for your horse can be easily packed into a single bag lightweight bag.  You can even pack your high line equipment and carry it with you on the trail, trekking off into the wilderness to camp anywhere your heart desires, and the law allows.  Now that’s freedom!

Instead of wrapping the rope around the trees, use Tree Saver Straps to prevent the trees from being girdled and dying.  This is a good piece of equipment to become familiar with as many wilderness areas require them.

If tying to a tree and your trailer, be sure your truck is hooked on to stablilze the trailer.  Many who do tie between a trailer and a tree report that sleeping is disturbed if camping in living quarters (better to consider that before losing that night’s sleep!).

The following is a fantastic instructional video from

It is rarely ever a good idea to tie your horse to the trailer overnight.  There are simply too many opportunities for injury, including slipping under the trailer (yes, it really happens).   When no other option is available, it is better to house your horse over night inside the trailer, rather than tie to the outside of the trailer overnight.

Trek Hoof Boot Review

In the equine world, there is nothing more fashionable than a product which greatly benefits the horse, its health, safety and well-being.  That being the case, there is absolutely nothing more fashionable these days than the new Cavallo Trek Boot for horses.

Designed to be used by barefoot horses while on the trail, the new product boasts a tremendous upgrade to the boot’s closure system.  We love the new single sturdy and replaceable velcro strap.  Each package of new boots comes with a free replacement, ensuring a long time of wear, additional replacements can be ordered at any time.  The new closure requires no ‘keeper’ to hold the strap securely in place.  The industrial strength velcro is mighty, and with a little clean-up after each ride, brushing or hosing any debris or dirt away, the quality closure is sure to last a long time.

Another bonus to the new closure system is that it is possible to snugly fit any variation of hoof size, providing a sense of security while on the trail in muddy or rugged terrain.  That being said, it is crucial to properly fit each horse so that the best sole size and shape accommodates each hoof.  This is true with any hoof boot.  With a proper fit, one can expect Cavallo Hoof Boots to remain securely in place throughout even the longest ride.

The boot’s upper matierial is made of Ultra flexible Pro Mesh and is molded to the shape of the hoof.  This new material is simply fantastic.  It has a slightly rubbery feel to it, and seems to fit in a more tidy fashion around the horse’s hoof, not appearing so much like a pair of clunky tennis shoes.  The look is tidy and the fit is great.  The upper material is highly flexible, moving with the horse’s step, reach and flexion.  At the same time, the material is extremely sturdy and durable, naturally springing back into shape around the horse’s hoof, providing a clean, comfortable look.  The material seems quite forgiving, providing support and freedom of movement simutaneously.  Just like the velcro closure, it is easy to clean with a brush or hose, and simply air dry after each ride to increase the longevity of your boot.

Other great features include the ability to use the boot on either foot, right or left.  The boots are sold singly, so if one needs to purchase only one it can be done so with ease.  Purchasing the boots singly also benefits the cases where one hoof may require a different size or shape than the other.

The new Trek Boot takes advantage of the tried and true, well known soles of the Simple and Sport Hoof Boots.  In the past, those preferring to boot all the way around have frequently had to wear two different styles of boots, Simple on the front and Sport on the rears.  Now with the new Trek Boot, one may purchase the Trek Regular (for the more rounded/square shaped hooves) for the front, and Trek Slim (for the narrower hoof) on the rear hooves.  Not that all horses require this type of fitting, but for those who do, having the Trek on all four hooves is a great alternative that just looks smart!

In conclusion, we can enthusiastically state we LOVE the new Cavallo Trek Hoof Boot and recommend it highly to everyone.  The benefits are almost too numerous to list in an article, but the bottom line is you can trust Cavallo Hoof Boots to provide optimal protection and comfort in any terrain for the barefoot horse.  Review the many benefits and uses for yourself listed on their website:

By Laurie Harris, Baron Fork Ridge Horse Camp, Arkansas
Laurie has used Cavallo boots for her horses exclusively for over 6 years.

1,000 Rides – $1 Million Dollars – In ONE Month

Throughout the month of March! 
Riders – Ride Hosts – Sponsors – Horses 
Working Together for One Vision

What Are We Doing – ACTHA, with a lot of help from you and industry partners is working to hold 1,000 Rides, $1,000,000 in one month. We’re looking to bring a national awareness about the benefits of therapeutic horse programs, brought to us by Path International for over 40 years and the over 850 professional centers and over 4200 instructors to mainstream America – to the non horse community as well as to all corners and disciplines of the horse world. More than 7,400 Path, Intl members help 56,000 children and adults with physical, mental and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse each year.

It’ll take a village to accomplish this monumental effort, we’re in need of event hosts, volunteers, riders, and sponsors to make the dream a reality. We’re asking everyone, near and far, to help spread the word by using your professional and personal network of friends and business contacts to give recognition to this national effort. Chances are good that there’s a local Path Intl center in your hometown, and everyone has a friend or family member that could benefit from the many activities they offer. So please, tell your friends, post it everywhere on social media, use all your resources to spread the word… We need your help to make it happen!
There are many ways to get involved – Help where you can!
SPONSORS – Some wonderful sponsors have been serving PATH INTL. for years. They can’t do it alone, as great as they are. Join us and them! Already ACTHA partners are stepping up to help promote the event, some are providing prizes, others are providing networking and publicity. We’re asking everyone in the equine industry to do what they can to help make the dream a reality for PATH International and thier community Centers. There’s no effort that is too small or unappreciated to help with this undertaking. There’s one in your hometown and everyone has a friend or family member that could benefit from the many activities they offer. For so many, it’s personal, and it’s good for all of us. And there’s even a hidden bonus! Our noble friend, the horse is also being served with great proud jobs. Over 8,000 of them currently.
RIDERS – Visit our Events page and find a Trail Challenge or an Arena Obstacle Challenge near you and join in on the fun. You’ll enjoy the day, help your local therapeutic riding center, and help with ACTHA’s mission of putting horses back to work. Remember, you don’t have to be a member in order to ride! Check out the calendar (, find a ride, find a friend, and we’ll see you both there!
News flash! This just in…Cavallo has pledged $15 per rider donation for the first 500 riders to sign up for PATH INTL event that agree to show up sporting their Cavallo Boots! This $7,500 will be contributed to PATH INTL in all your names by Cavallo. In addition anyone associated with the rides, whether as a rider, volunteer, judge, contributor etc. will recieve a 25% discount on anything in Cavallo’s store from NOW UNTIL THE LAST RIDE OR 3/31/14!
EVENT HOSTS: Consider hosting an event. Hosts across the country are stepping up to hold events in support of the Shamrock Path 2014 effort. Whether it’s one of our Arena Obstacle Challenges, held in any arena, ring or field, or our Competitive Trail Challenge, over a 6 mile course, we’ve got the resources to help you bring riders, volunteers and prizes to your event. We provide the liability insurance, and you are given personal assistance by one of our dedicated Ride Coordinators. If you can host a party, you can host an ACTHA event! We provide you with all the resources, special prize boxes, training, and knowledge gained by putting on almost 2,000 events just like yours. You provide the local boots on the ground, a few volunteers and some time planning and organizing. You’ll need a location to hold your event, on public or private land, and a place to park 15-25 trailers. To learn more about the benefits of hosting an event, click ( or email
This is much bigger than any one organization and we are honored to be the conduit to a greater awareness of Path International and YOUR LOCAL CENTERS. We’d love to talk to you in more depth about what we’re up to and how YOU can be involved.

Email – or call at 434-989-1437.

There are so many ways you can help –
Sponsor. If you can’t sponsor, Host. If you can’t Host, Ride. If you can’t Ride, Volunteer…. Just get involved!

Colic Prevention Tips

A Tip for Preventing Colic in Horses:

Management can play a key role in preventing colic so look for some common sense tips coming your way from your sponsors of Equine GutFlush. We’d rather prevent any abdominal pain in horses, so here is tip one:

Hay is best fed free-choice, good clean hay. If the hay is even a little bit moldy or dusty, it can affect and hurt the horses lungs and impair their breathing ability thereafter.

Hay should supply half of the horse’s feeding program if not more. When feeding grain try to break it into two or more feeding’s vs. one large meal. You don’t want to overload the horse’s digestive system. As this can cause abdominal pain and digestive problem’s as well.

* Rule of thumb: More hay (roughage) less concentrates (grain). Plus, I always like to add a little water (warm water in the winter time) in the feed to make it more palatable too.

Happy Trails, Pam

Member of the Week: Coleen Agner

Introducing this week’s Member of the Week, Coleen Agner, she’s the one with the shades on!

“This member and host, Coleen Agner, has been with ACTHA a long time. Her rides are legend in Florida, consistently wonderfully attended and managed with emphasis on fun. All proceeds go to the non profit that preserves, creates and maintains exquisite horse trails in the piney woods of Florida. She works tirelessly for the cause and has been a cornerstone of support for trail riding and every member that rides with her. A wonderful inspiration to us all down here as a member. Just recently she held a great ride at RO Ranch Equestrian Park in Mayo, Florida! There were many smiling faces and happy horses and riders. She had the place done up really nice and her obstacles were fun, too. You can’t find a better lady to put on rides!”

Congratulations to to Coleen Agner, for being this week’s Member of the Week and showing great spirit! Many thanks to Molly’s Custom Silver for sponsoring this weekly event. Molly’s Custom Silver is ACTHA’s official silversmith! ACTHA Member of the Week nominations remain anonymous. If you would like to nominate an ACTHA member, Ride Host, judge or volunteer, you may do so by clicking here: Or, you may send your nomination along with one or two good photos of large size to .

A Message From Equine GutFlush

Tips For Reducing Equine Colic
1. Make all feed changes gradually.
2. Don’t feed on sand.
3. De-worm regularly.
4. Do more frequent, small feedings.
5. Minimize carbohydrates. (horses are best adapted to eat grass and hay)
6. Supply plenty of fresh water and provide salt.
7. In cold weather, offer warm water.
8. Provide regular exercise.
9. Check on your horse at least twice a day.
10. Have their teeth checked or floated at least once or twice a year.
We want to see healthy happy tummies here at ACTHA. Our sponsor, Equine GutFlush helps your horse through mild colic, and can have him back on his hooves in about 45 minutes. Visit their website today to learn more about the signs of colic, and how you can help your horse!
Click here to visit Equine GutFlush online >>

Member of the Week, Selena Lucas!

Introducing this week’s member of the week, Ride Host and rider, Selena Lucas!
“As a kid, Selena showed Walking Horses. When just starting out she leased a mare named Lace and later owned her own gelding Lester. Nowadays, she has chickens, goats, cats, a dog and besides her gorgeous horse, Prince she also owns a Belgian Draft Horse named Cody. 
Selena is the type of person that is always in a happy mood, if I am having a bad day and have her over for a ride, she will make me laugh and smile, she has a good sense of humor and loves all her animals very much. 
If Selena sets out to organize an event (such as her ACTHA AOC) she leaves no stone unturned, she gives it 110%, really works hard to get nice prizes donated and makes sure everyone involved has a great time and leaves with something. Selena and her dad are also leaders of Rusty Spurs 4-H. Horse based 4-H group in our area. Selena has always been involved in 4-H and showed at her state fair in 4-H when she was a youngster. Not only does she help out these kids, she also helps with a bowling league on the weekends! She’s truly a good soul and a great friend. She really deserves this award!!!”

Congratulations to to Selena Lucas of West Virginia, for being this week’s Member of the Week and showing great spirit! Many thanks to Molly’s Custom Silver for sponsoring this weekly event. Molly’s Custom Silver is ACTHA’s official silversmith! ACTHA Member of the Week nominations remain anonymous. If you would like to nominate an ACTHA member, Ride Host, judge or volunteer, you may do so by clicking here: Or, you may send your nomination along with one or two good photos of large size to .