Editor's Postcard

What’s Good for Horses

What’s Good for Horses
Catherine Madera

Determining a State of Wellness

by Catherine Madera

 

wellness

Photo courtesy of Laura Schonberg. Mateo and I riding in the Mount Baker foothills.

When I first got my 5-year-old BLM mustang, Mateo, he had a curious habit. Nearly every day, usually at dusk, I would watch him walk to the corner of his small pasture and gallop back the way he had come. The space is nearly a perfect square and it appeared Mateo chose the longest possible angle to enjoy his brief gallop. Watching from the kitchen window, I always felt sad. This once wild creature longed to stretch his legs, the way he did in the vast Oregon desert of his birth. In a few months time Mateo completely settled in and stopped his evening ritual. I then broke the gelding to ride and trained him in the ways a saddle horse is expected to behave.

I sold Mateo this fall to a wonderful woman who is eager to continue what I started with him. When I consider his journey from the BLM holding pens to his new home, I ponder this month’s theme—equine wellness. This encompasses the physical, mental and emotional. It’s very easy to get sentimental about horses and imagine an ideal state of being that is actually not healthy for them at all. Had Mateo not been adopted, it’s very likely he would have lived out life in the BLM holding pens, milling around for years with hundreds of other mustangs that would have eventually aged to the point of being unadoptable. And had he not been taken from the wild, he could easily have been killed or starved to death. Captivity and training actually provided a state of wellness not found on the range.

Horses are highly adaptable, but I encourage you to consider your own horses and their state of wellness. Is there anything you can do to improve it? Sometimes little changes, like increasing turnout time, can make a big difference. Enjoy the magazine this month. We have some wonderful articles related to our theme, including the cover story on how Kalypso Bay Farm in Deming, WA increases wellness for horses and people.

Ride on and be WELL!

 

Published in October 2015 Issue

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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