Text Size

 Stay up-to-date with our newsletter. It's free & you'll be able to access our articles, stories, giveaways and savings. We only send you a summary of things you have missed and we never sell your information.

Subscribe Now
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About HorsesAll About Horses

    All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About CrittersAll About Critters

    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About ReptilesAll About Reptiles

    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Helping Dogs On Deployment with DogIsGood Purchase

    Some companies just step up to the right thing and Dog Is Good is one of them. This month, they are releasing their newest line, "No Dog Left Behind" just in time for Memorial Day.

    The thing I'm most proud to pen is that 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this product line between May 25-31, 2016 will go directly to Dogs On Deployment.

    This concept is nothing new to Dog Is Good. Each year, they choose a beneficiary who shares similar values and objectives, and which focus on the human-dog connection. Obviously, Dogs On Deployment is one of the most powerful and important missions. This is how it works...

    Read More
  • The Many Benefits of Cat Grasses

    Benefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassDespite being obligate carnivores, cats still require greens to stay healthy.

    Summer is upon us and that makes the perfect time to grow some grass for your finicky feline. Whether you grow organic oatgrass, wheatgrass, catnip or any other type of cat-centric plant - your cats are sure to appreciate the effort!

    Theories on why cats enjoy munching down on fresh grasses vary. Some experts consider cats’ grazing to be a behavioral trait, while others believe it to be an instinctual response and consider it an important part of their cats diets. But most believe it’s their way of increasing their intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, to help get all that hair they groomed from themselves moving out of their digestive tract.

    (Grass eating usually equates to more hairballs, so here are 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs!)

    Whatever the reason for making grasses available to cats, there is no denying that most enjoy some fresh grass. (Failure to provide it means your houseplants are likely to fall victim!)

    Read More
  • 15 Strange Uses for Shedded Dog, Cat and Horse Hair

    If you're anything like me, (and I suspect you are or you wouldn't be reading this) dog, cat and horse hair and fur is an ongoing problem.

    For people like us, shedding "season" is every single day. Long haired cats, short-haired dogs, horse mane and tail hair; there is no shortage of this highly renewable resource!

    So we decided to take on the challenge of finding useful ways to dispose of it.

    Here are fifteen unique (and often a bit disturbing) ways to utilize your pet's excess fur. (And if that's not enough for us, we have 10 more ways to use fur in 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs and even some creative ways you can use hairballs in this article, 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hairballs!)

    But here are our favorites...

    Read More
  • How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

    I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it were practical!

    But sometimes our pets aren’t excited about making friends with other animals. When it comes to dogs, their natural prey drive can cause some problems in our pursuit of a peaceful co-existence.

    Dogs enjoy chasing cats, pouncing on rabbits, snatching birds out of the air and diving for fish in the pond.

    So can you enjoy other pets if you have a dog? Of course! In particular, let’s take a look at how you can have the koi pond of your dreams without your dog snacking on those beautiful fish.

    Read More
  • Tabby Cats and Their Patterns

    Tabbies are a big part of our lives.

    If you follow us on Instagram, you probably know that we have three beautiful full-time tabbies: CassieKyra The Cog and Alexandra. We also have one vocal foster cat we call Kreature. Each of these cats is magnificent and it's about time someone came up with a holiday celebrating their beauty.

    And so, in Celebration of #NationalTabbyDay, we're talking about a few fun facts you may not know...

    To begin, a tabby is not a breed of cat, but a general way of referring to a coat pattern. In fact,  usually “tabby” means stripes, swirls or spots on a cat that is orange, brown, white or grey colored cat.  In fact, the word tabby is often used as a generic term for "cat" (just like "hound" is often used as a general term for dogs). Tabby cats are found in a variety of different breeds.

    Let’s take a look at the four basic types of tabby coat patterns.

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More

How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it Read More

How Tabby Cats Got Their Forehead "M"

Tabby cats have a rather unique history. If you have seen a tabby cat, you've probably noticed the distinguished looking Read More

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More
  • 1

Welcome to PetsWeekly

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Fate of NahguaFate of NahguaI get interesting letters from people asking about the relationship between horse racing and the show world. When our farm branched into racing, a lot of our friends asked, why? They couldn’t see why we would “abandon” the show world for something they flat-out didn’t understand or appreciate. Looking back, I have to smile because it turned out that we didn’t abandon anything. We just grew.

Like an increasing number of breeders entering the racing industry, we expanded our horizons. Let’s take a closer look at that question and those horizons.

Horse shows, like most shows for purebred livestock, started out as a chance for breeders to compare their stock and evaluate the progress of their breeding, nutritional and training programs. And horse racing has always been right in there.

 According to author Margaret E. Derry, in her book Bred For Perfection, animal breeding is an ancient occupation dating back at least as far as fourteen thousand years. The impact of purebred animals on our agricultural economy—and other areas of our culture—is undisputed. While they may not have started as such, today, the exhibition of purebred horses and dogs has been elevated to international stature. Who, for example, hasn’t seen the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on TV as it is broadcast each year from Madison Square Garden in New York City? Who hasn’t seen the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or the Belmont Stakes? Anyone who has ever been to Crufts in England, the Salon du Cheval in Paris or the national Arabian horse show in Scottsdale can not walk away without being impressed by how far the world of purebred animals has come. Or, convinced that glamour doesn’t only belong to movie stars and singers. OK, you’ve just given us examples of glamorous races and shows, you say. Why are you telling us that?

I’m pointing out how big our sporting world is, and how much is available to those of us making champions.

Some of the most successful people in racing have come from the show world. What secrets did they learn along the way? To find that out, you’d have to ask the many Arabian horse trainers succeeding on the track and, from there, you’d have to ask people like Neal and Ginny Ehrhart of Keystone Driving Force, who are among the top winners in Harness racing. After Neal and Ginny, you’d go on and ask people like Jack and Mary Butler, who were busy showing Siberian Huskies in New England about fifteen or so years ago, but have some of the most successful racing Greyhounds in the business today. Or ask Jan Troxell, another Greyhound trainer, who to this day still raises and shows German Shepherds from her racing farm in Oklahoma. The list goes on. Maybe what these successful breeders and trainers discovered is that both disciplines—showing and racing—go hand in hand. Maybe they see the world of champions from a wider scope and in a brighter light than their competitors do. And maybe that’s an advantage.

A recent conversation with Greyhound breeder/trainer (and former Quarter Horse jockey) Kevin Gresham, from his farm in Kansas puts it this way.

“Years ago,” he says, “Back when I was ridin’, you’d have horses that did all kinds of crazy stuff. Some of them horses could really get to carryin’ on and a guy could get hurt. Well, there was this one trainer who did a lot of winning. And I mean a lot. I always liked ridin’ his horses ’cause they would just, you know, be real calm and keep their mind on business. Well, what this guy said was, the best racehorses are the ones who are trained the most.”

Now, that’s a very interesting statement and a rather broad one. But, Kevin has a broad base of experience. Besides his horses, he also has a few show dogs. What he’s really know for, though, is his success raising and training some of the most expensive, winning Greyhounds in the sport. Greyhounds raised or trained by Kevin sell for tens of thousands of dollars and they earn even more. So, it should come as no surprise that Kevin Gresham counts among his clients some of the most well known owners in the game and he knows what he’s talking about.

Listen again to what he said: “The ones who are trained the most.”

Hearing that statement is one thing. But, understanding it and putting it into practice is a whole different matter. What it boils down to is this: Kevin is talking about “cross-training.” He’s saying the racehorse with the most diversified experience is the horse least likely to be surprised, distracted or worried about anything that happens before or during the race. That horse will have less to think about and can pay more attention to matters at hand. And that’s the kind of difference that makes a champion.

We in racing believe in winners. Whether we are fans, owners or somewhere in between, all of us play a role in the making of champions and many racing athletes have crossed successfully from one arena to the other. Racehorses have proven themselves in dressage, driving, hunter/jumper classes, western pleasure and halter. Likewise, racing Greyhounds have gone on to win ribbons in the show ring as well. Rare, maybe, but real nonetheless.

Racing—whether it be horses, dogs or pigeons—instills something in us that we can’t get anywhere else and it keeps that “something” alive. It’s all about heart. It’s about passion and desire. And it reminds us how powerful and exciting we, ourselves, can be.

At the racetrack, played out before our very eyes, we see enacted a time-honored ritual that touches a chord in all of us. It’s no accident that it’s called a performance. We see racehorses from across the country competing to prove which is fastest, which stable is best, which trainer the wisest and which owner the most savvy.

In a society growing ever more soft, where schools and companies and towns seem to be falling into a political correctness that makes our lives more boring at every turn, we in racing have the “real” first turn to look forward to. Racing fans know the American Dream because we re-enact it every day. Unfolding before us on the track, we portray the promise that if you look straight ahead and give your all, you will get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. Fast or slow, sooner or later, you will cross the finish line.

Racing is about the individual, not about a team you hide behind. Racing is about you, alone out there, against all odds. They don’t teach you that kind of self-confidence in high school, but our sport of racing does. Take it to heart and you will always know—no matter how long you live or what you do—that you gave your best. And if you reach the winner’s circle the world knows it, too.

Read more stories about horses:

rhevener
Author: rhevener
About the Author
Author/Artist RON HEVENER specializes in animals and the romantic, adventurous people who love them. An accomplished artist who started by selling handmade souvenirs and telling stories to tourists at Pennsylvania Dutch farmers' markets, Mr. Hevener's studio is now an official tourist attraction and his collectible figurines and the prints from his novels are bought and traded throughout the world. His original paintings and sculptures are sold in galleries, displayed in museums and can be found in many private collections. Mr. Hevener is a regular contributor to many publications. Visit his website to learn more.

New in Dogs

New in Cats

New in Horses

New in PetsGEEKly

Subscribe to PetsWeekly for the latest pet news, giveaways, and more!    Stay informed!