Monday, May 20, 2013

Judith Hamilton-Schultze, Equestrian

Judith Hamilton-Schultze is the CEO and President of Equine Community Organization, Natural Organic World, LLC, Bradenton, Florida, USA. An avid animal advocate, her passion lies with saving America’s wild horses…

Welcome Judith!

When was your first encounter with a horse?

I was 6 years old and my father took me to a local farm in Canada when we were at our cottage there. I rode my first pony and I fell in love with horses after that. I had dreamed one day I would have my own and that finally came in my teens. I took lessons in Michigan. My parents let me explore the horse world and I enjoy reading books about horses. That pony took me for the ride of my life. I learned quickly how to hold on and ride like a pro. I was never afraid to ride any pony or horse after my first experience.

Do you have a favorite breed of horse?

Thoroughbred - especially the dapple grey. I love any color but I am partial to dapples. Most thoroughbreds are such a challenge to ride, jumping was incredible, for shows they just look absolutely beautiful. Personalities are exciting and fun for me.

What is your riding discipline?

I learned to ride English Equitation, precision riding, ground manners very important. Discipline in walk, trot, canter. Using leg and rein aides well. I had some great training. I also love to ride Western when I am out on the trails.

Do you have advice for beginning riders?

My advice is you learn well your English basics and proper balance, discipline in basic equitation is very important. You can ride any horse if you feel comfortable in your basics and proper training. Teachers are very important and if you have a great one you will be such a better rider and performer when you get into tough situations. Every horse person has encountered serious moments almost life threatening. It is all in the way you handle each situation. I have had my share of falls from jumping and riding. Make sure you check your equipment two or three times and wear the proper helmet for head protection before you go riding. Know your horse well and study each one you ride.

What does horsemanship mean to you?

For me the greatest experience is when you are in a show or just riding and you really feel you and you horses are in proper balance and harmony together. What a beautiful experience. I have felt this many times with my horses over the years. Horsemanship means you have mastered the techniques of success and what works with you and your horses. It takes a lifetime of practice. I am still learning. Now training a horse is a challenge. Mastering those techniques is really special. It is exciting to train horses. I am in the process of learning now everyday. You must have incredible patience. I do. I will go the extra mile and save our wild horses. We must leave a legacy. 

Who is Freedom Thunder?

I have a young Tobiano mix Arabian, which may have a bit of Mustang in him. Freedom Thunder was rescued from a horrible situation from Spokane Washington State. He was only 3 months old when I rescued him. Also rescued his Mom Annie, his Daddy Babe. Annie was pregnant and has now had Denali who is a beautiful Tobiano. Denali is two years old.

Annie and Denali are still at a beautiful farm, 27 acres of freedom and enjoying life. Babe had to be put down because he had such severe arthritis and could not lay down last year. Freedom Thunder finally made the long trip to my home in Bradenton, Florida.

Freedom arrived to his new home and with loving arms I embraced him. He is getting used to new sounds and a different climate. What a change for him from snow and ice to warm sunshine.

I was lunging Freedom one day a month and a half ago. Freedom saw the lunge line and he spooked. He started running extremely fast in the round pen, the rope whipped out of my hands, the rope was following his back; he was terrified. The rope wrapped around a pole and flipped him on his side.

He now has a severe fracture on his left back leg. I called the emergency vet, took radiographs of his leg and the vet said we can put a few casts on and see if it will heal on its own. He may still have to have surgery later. Well, Freedom just had a second cast put on last week. The injury is beginning to heal slowly. This is ongoing and I also have to train him because he does not know his ground manners yet. He is young and green. I am being so patient with him. I am working with him daily and we are bonding quite well. I have one of the best leg vets around in our area. I am so fortunate to have him helping me.

Freedom and I are becoming friends and I love him so dearly. I am just taking everything real slow; working along with the vets in his recovery. This will be a long process. I am encouraged and I pray for his healing daily. Freedom has such a pleasing personality. So I hope he won't need a third cast, but what an experience to see your best friend go through this horrific agony and pain. Horses are incredible animals and I am so grateful to the wonderful vets we have out there helping us with our beloved horses. To be continued…

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Update from Judith, May 21, 2013…

Today Freedom just had his second cast removed. He is wearing a splint on his right back hock. The vets state he will be wearing this for two weeks. Still healing and he is a bit more comfortable without the heavy cast on his leg. I am also using Back on Track wraps and boots to stimulate the blood circulation to his lower extremities. I am introducing the wraps and boots slowly; using only 4 hrs a day for a few days then graduate up to 8 hrs a day. Have to do this gradually. These are therapeutic wraps and boots. I am also giving him joint and hoof supplements as well. 

Freedom seems to be such a great horse and going along well with his wellness plan. Lots of love and TLC daily. I am encouraged. We have such great vets in the area. Our vets work as a team to do the casting and wraps. They are incredible. Keeping you posted on his recovery efforts. Thank you Gina. Hope all is well with you my friend. Praying for a full recovery for Freedom in the future. 

Horsey dreams, Judith. 

Update from Judith, June 25, 2013...

Today Dr. Migenti took off Freedom’s splint. He took some more radiographs of the back leg and states it is healing well. Not there completely yet. It must be wrapped and kept clean another month. Freedom is putting full weight on his leg. This morning he started flexing his leg and realized that the splint was gone. He is one amazing horse. I have read a few articles stating that it takes four months for bones to heal in horses depending on the break.

I also have been giving him joint, coat formula daily and optimize minerals from Manna Pro daily; he is getting the minerals we was lacking. Good boy he is.

The Dr. is pleased with Freedom’s recovery and I am still being very careful with his movements. Not to get too excited. That is hard for any horse. Oh you know it has to feel good without all of that stuff wrapped around his leg. We still must be very careful and take our time with him. Keep you posted on his recovery.

Thanks Gina and everyone for your prayers for Freedom. Prayers are abundant and we still keep on praying for a full recovery. Love and God Bless all of you,

Judith and Freedom 

Update August 19, 2013…

My dear friend Gina:

I have the approval from the Dr. to let Freedom go into the round pen to graze by himself now. August 9th, my vet said it is time to let him go out in a small area. Woohoo. So far he is doing great. He loves being able to eat grass on his own and for the first time in several months Freedom is able to experience being a horse again. He has been such a good boy. We still have a long way to go and build him up and developing ground manners. I am being careful with him. It was such a great sight to see him in the round pen for the first time since his accident back in April. I must send you photos of him. He is looking great and I pray for his continued healing. I am using back on track wraps on his back legs which promote better blood flow and healing. This is great news and keeping you informed on his progress. I am so happy for him. Baby steps. We continue on. I will let you know when he graduates to the pasture. Oh he is such a pretty paint Tobiano boy. Oh I love him so much. We have really bonded together. Tears of great joy and happiness for him.


Update October 20, 2013

Well sending you the latest update on Freedom. He is running in the pasture and exercising well. Leg is in great shape. Not having any difficulty walking, trotting, cantering in the pasture. You will be amazed at this information. I have had a young trainer working with him 2 weeks. Freedom is standing, cross ties, He has had a western and english saddle on him, a bridle with a snaffle bit, and most of all I could not bathe him 2 weeks ago now he will stand cross tied and I can give him a bath. I am starting to lunge him. We have a long way to go but he will let me do all of these things. I have developed trust and respect now. He is so smart. He learns quickly. What a bond we have developed and I am so proud of him. What a spirit, a bit of Mustang in his genetic makeup. His manners and sense of smell, sound is acute. His ears stand tall and forward he listens, he knows. What an amazing horse he is. Together we are learning to depend on each other. I work with him everyday now. My love is real for him. Freedom senses this relationship. He is gifted and aims to please me. He really does. Freedom is a master at his game. He is growing into a fine young horse with the proper training. I am so happy and proud of him. More updates and I need to get you some photos. Happy training he has graduated. Now the fine tuning and I will always protect that leg which God has placed his loving hand to heal the broken bones. I remember so well. Sometimes God gives us a second chance. Freedom is my gift and we have been given that second chance. Freedom is my blessing and I am so grateful everyday. All for my sweet boy Freedom.


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