Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trailering Horses: An interview with Curt Courtney by Gina McKnight

Kia and Joy learn to love the water

Trailering Horses: An interview with Curt Courtney
by Gina McKnight
Archived Interview from the May 2017 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

From Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA, welcome horseman Curt Courtney! Curt is an expert in horse transportation. Riders and horse owners know the importance of providing a safe environment for your horse while on the road. Curt and his wife Joy have trailered horses all over the United States.

Curt writes, “I have been around horses my entire life, my parents were avid trail riders. My wife and I own and ride horses. We know a lot of horse people. We started delivering trailers and all types of cargo/horses all over the United States, which led to opening our own trailer sales company.” Curt continues by emphasizing the importance of trailer safety, keeping your horse comfortable in the trailer, and purchasing the right trailer.

GM: Curt, you’ve an awesome horse history! With both parents loving horses, and being around horses your entire life, you have the experience to help others with horse transportation! When was your first encounter with a horse?
CC: I barely remember my "first" encounter with a horse. I have been around horses since I was a small child. My first was with a buckskin mare named Trixy. My four cousins and I would all get on her bare back together. She would take what my dad referred to as "baby steps" then when you put an adult on her she was a regular step out trail horse. I then ended up with my very own Shetland pony named Babe who took very good care of me and helped me lose fear and gain confidence.

GM: What horses do you currently stable?
CC: Currently we have seven horses. Kia is Joy’s registered Paint mare, then we have Bo who is my granddaughters POA (Pony of the Americas) gelding. We have two minis, a pony, and donkey who is our watchdog. We also have a Tennessee Walker and a Rocky Mountain as well as a Quarter Horse – all mares.

GM: As an avid rider and horse enthusiast, you must ride a lot. Where is your favorite place to ride?
CC: My favorite place to ride would have to be Turkey Creek Ranch located by Newcastle, Nebraska. Turkey Creek Ranch offers 16+ miles of groomed trails that allow you to explore the beauty of northeast Nebraska. Terrain ranges from scenic hilltop views of the Missouri River, to peaceful shaded ravines for a quiet ride. The perfect weekend getaway, Turkey Creek Ranch offers some of the most beautiful horse trails available. The views from up on the hills as you look out over the Missouri River bottoms are simply amazing.

GM: And your best horse?
CC: Kia is by far the best horse on our property. She belonged to Joy’s father before he passed away. She is the same horse every time out no matter how long she goes between being used, there is not a mean bone in her. Joy trail rides. Joy and our granddaughter Calyla have been doing trail challenge courses on Kia. They brought home a championship buckle last year.

GM: As a seasoned horseman, very knowledgeable about horse trailers and transporting horses, what is the most important item buyers should know when purchasing a horse trailer?
CC: As horse owners, we know when we are selling a trailer the risks that come with hauling horses. When we sell a horse trailer, safety is top priority. That is why our trailers are equipped with electric brakes on BOTH axles not just one and they also include a spare tire. I always say going is great, but when you need to stop, you want to stop, and nobody I know wants to sit alongside the road with animals with a flat tire waiting for help.

GM: As a horse owner, I prefer hauling my horses in a stock trailer vs. a horse trailer. What are your thoughts on this topic?
CC: People have used stock trailers to move horses for years and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, a lot of your horse trailers are simply stock trailers that have had options added to them to make them horse specific. We offer a swing wall tack room with removable saddle racks, and once you remove the saddle racks, the swing wall opens and is suitable for use as a stock trailer.

GM: So far you have seen a lot of horses, a lot of horse people, and have had your share of riding history. Can you share a favorite riding anecdote?
CC: A horse memory for us is a bittersweet one. Joy’s dad was near the end of his battle with cancer. His hospital bed was in the bedroom by the window. My brother-in-laws removed the screen from the window and Kia was brought up to the house. She put her head thru the window and nuzzled him. I guess she was saying her goodbyes.

GM: Do you have advice for novice riders?
CC:  My advice to novice riders would be to learn your horse and never let the horse decide when you get off.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
CC: To me horsemanship is being in the same place as your horse, not physically but mentally being in the same place. It is about mutual respect between you and your horse. It is about understanding each other

If you have questions about transporting your horse, contact Curt…

Gina McKnight is an equestrian, author, freelance writer, and editor at Monday Creek Publishing.

Calyla and Bo establish their bond.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Safaris Unlimited (Africa) Ltd: Gordie Church

~ Established 1971 ~
Celebrating 45 Years On Safari

P O Box 24181 - 00502, Nairobi, Kenya
Cell: +254 727 535019

Welcome Gordie Church from Nairobi, Kenya! Mr. Church is a Professional Safari Guide & Horseman. Along with his riding crew, he has one of the best riding adventures in the world!

GM: An amazing adventure to go horseback riding in Africa! What is the best way to book an adventure?
GC: The best way to book an adventure would be to email us at

GM: What items will be essential for me to pack for the safari?
GC:  See the list below 

GM: Your videos of safaris are amazing! Your horses look happy and healthy. Tell us about your horses…
GC:  We love our horses; they are part of the family. We typically have between 25-30 horses ranging from a 12-hand pony for Tyga (our daughter) to 16.3 Warmblood cross. We have a variety of mixed breeds all purposely chosen by us to become safari horses. Their breeding consists of South African Boerped, Thoroughbred, Somali pony thoroughbred cross and warmbloods. They live with us at our farm and graze freely on 4,500 acres with all the wildlife. They are totally accustomed to game. We breed our own and have all our young stock coming through. We break them in using natural horsemanship from Parelli to horse whispering. It is always a happy moment watching a guest enjoying a homebred horse whilst on safari. We are lucky enough to have a good reputation in the local horse community for looking after our horses, which in turn means we get offered lovely horses to buy. 

GM: Will I choose my own horse, or will you choose a horse for me?
GC: Once you have completed a detailed riding form we will choose the best horse for you.

GM: Seeing the African landscape and variety of wildlife from horseback must be incredible. What about encounters with lions and other predators?
GC: With over 45 years of experience we are probably the most experienced outfitter that has approached predators and other big game of which we encounter almost daily.  To see a lion from the back of a horse is a very special and unforgettable moment.

GM: Describe a safari day from morning until night...
GC: After a ‘full-monty’ breakfast we ride in a northerly direction, through a gorge looking for leopard, lions and hyenas and out over the Ololituroto plain, scattered with the occasional balanities tree. Exceptional views in every direction on excellent going for the horses.  An excellent opportunity to run along side the plains game. Picnic lunch in the Olomai forest, siesta and a glorious afternoon ride down to the Mara river, with many large pods of hippo and the odd monster crocodile. Dropping into camp for a well deserved cocktail and a hot shower. Followed by canap├ęs by the campfire and a candle lit supper. Off to bed to await the excitement of the noises of the night. Hugging your hot water bottle till morning to be awoken by ‘jambo, jambo’ and a steaming hot coffee or tea to your bedside.

GM: As a seasoned rider and a terrific horseman, what does horsemanship mean to you?
GC: Horsemanship means to me trust, respect, courage and companionship between man and horse. A complete understanding of one another’s ability’s, strengths and weaknesses.

Book your trip today!

A SHORT RIDE IN THE MARA : 6 night ride
14 ~ 20 August 2017

10~ 16 January 2018
MASAI MARA RIDE : 8 night ride
22 ~ 30 June 2017

23 June ~ 1 July 2018

Gordie at work.

P O Box 24181 - 00502, Nairobi, Kenya
Cell: +254 727 535019

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wild Horse Rescue, Inc. McDermott, Ohio

Do you love horses?
Are you looking or to rescue, adopt, or work with horses?
Contact Betty 

From McDermott, Ohio, USA, Betty Davison is the founder of Wild Horse Rescue, Inc., a non-profit equine rescue, re-homing trained horses.

Welcome, Betty!

From Betty…

We are known for taking in horses that are running at large and Mustangs.  Just recently had three horses brought to us by an animal control officer five hours from us because these horses had not had human touch, therefore the average person would not be qualified to work with them.  We then work with them to gentle them so the average person can continue their training.  We have also had severely neglected and injured horses the we have nursed back to health so could get into a forever home or sanctuary home.

I am the founder and president of our organization and we have been a 501(c)(3) non-profit since 2009.  I began working with and studying horses since the age of ten yrs old.  I always had horses that people had problems with, so I learned early on how to relate with the horse. I know the basics to working with a horse that has an issue.  One must understand what is important to the horse. It is imperative the we understand that a horse is a born claustrophobic, and if they feel trapped they will become very agitated and tense. They instinctively want to get away or out of that restricted state. If they can't get away, then they go into the fight mode. We, the human, are predators in their eyes and they are the prey.  All prey animals have their eyes on the sides and all predator’s eyes face to the front.  We, here at the rescue, try to teach people to understand how the horse views and reacts to human behavior.  That is why natural horsemanship is so important to us. I am soon to be 68 yrs young and have osteoarthritis which is making it more difficult to keep doing what I do.  I am searching for a dedicated young person to share my experience and knowledge with so the rescue and our work teaching others can continue. Keeping ones' self-safe while working with horses is a top priority and we strive to impress that to everyone who spends any time around a horse.

We rely on donations, very far and few in-between, to keep our hay supply. We do not have many people who are willing to volunteer, as most only want to ride horses and have fun.  Most of the horses that come here, the average person cannot handle.  This makes it extremely difficult to get help. 

We do not have an indoor arena/covered round-pen, so weather dictates our ability to work with the horses.  I have been told to apply for grants, but I must have someone would could write and present the grant request as I know there are certain criteria that must be followed.   

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  For more info check our web site;

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