Monday, September 30, 2019

Milliron Monday: The Legacy Continues

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

With 2019 swimming by and the completion of several new Milliron projects, we are excited about the opportunity to share video coverage of Dr. Smith at work. This new video collage will include still photos, as well as video by Joy Miller-Upton, a local reporter and journalist. If you have photos or stories you would like to share, please send them our way! We would love to hear from you. 

The new video highlights the incredible skills of Dr. Smith. As the photo above shows, you can see that Dr. Smith was innovative in his approach to animal well-being. His surgical skills sometimes included out-of-the-box ideas that, yes, included welding. 

We are excited to share your photos and stories as we continue the legacy of Dr. Smith. Thanks to everyone who has shared so far. We appreciate the connection and your support to the memory of Dr. Smith. Please send your photos/stories to gmcknight11@gmail.com.

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Milliron Monday: Lollipop

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.

June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

The last several weeks have had hurdles - you know, the kind that you must jump over to get through whatever it is that is in your way; high hurdles. So, I've been a 'lil behind with Milliron Monday, but back at it and excited to share with you what's been happening in the Milliron arena, which includes the passing of my Quarter gelding, Mac. You see, Jody brought Mac to my stables several years ago. Mac passed away suddenly late in the evening of September 11th. We buried him the morning of September 13th. He was bitten by a snake. Now we know it was a timber rattlesnake. Although I never saw the snake and it was nighttime, all the signs were there. It's difficult to write this even now, so I'll save the story for another day. 

Jody was over last week, sharing more photos. I've posted new photos on the Milliron facebook page (if you'd like to see). One of the stories that Jody likes to tell is about Lollipop, her dear donkey. After moving from Colorado to SE Ohio and settling on Milliron Farm, Jody ran into a neighbor who wanted to sell a donkey. She knew she could raise the donkey and break it to drive a cart, as Jody is very good at breaking equines to drive a cart. 

Long story short, Jody bought the donkey from the neighbor. Upon arriving back at the farm, Dr. Smith eyed the donkey and smiled, "Where did she come from?" 

"I bought her from our neighbor," Jody said, very happy with her purchase.

"What? You actually paid money for that donkey? What a sucker," Dr. Smith grinned. 

So, Jody called the donkey Lollipop. Lollipop became an icon at Milliron Farm. Jody broke her to drive a cart. She became fast friends with Jessica and Pat, the two Smith children. Lollipop was the mother of Persimmon, both are showcased on the (former) Milliron Clinic mural as you enter the clinic. 


Pat and Jessica driving Lollipop. Melody, the coonhound, alongside.

Have a great week ahead.


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Appalachian Trainer Face Off: An Interview with Devin Young

thepaintedladyranch.com

Photo Credits: A Duck Photo Aaron and Ariel Rudduck

Appalachian Trainer Face Off: An Interview with Devin Young
by Gina McKnight
As seen in the August 2019 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication with permission

The proprietor of Painted Lady Ranch, Somerset, Ohio, Devin Young is an up-and-coming name in the world of horses. She is a trainer, riding instructor, mentor, and much more. Recently, she was accepted into the Appalachian Trainer Face Off, a 100-day competition where rescue horses are assigned a trainer. After the 100 days, horses and trainers compete for top honors. Horses are rehomed and trainers receive kudos for their accomplishments. It’s a tough challenge! I met up with Devin and we talked about the Face Off…

Welcome, Devin!

GM: We are excited that you are a participant in the Appalachian Trainer Face Off. What prompted your application and what was the application process?
DY: The 2019 Appalachian Trainer Face Off is the 3rd year of the training competition, the last two years I was very interested in applying, but it wasn’t the right time for me. This year I had seriously considered it multiple times but wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to apply still until another trainer, who is also in the competition, encouraged me to do it which I took as a sign to follow through and apply. I couldn’t be happier that I did as this has been a unique and rewarding experience.

There’s an application process which includes information about ourselves, our experience with horses and why we believe we would be a good fit for the face off. As well, we were asked to send in videos of personal horse and a client horse to show our skills and training methods. We also needed to provide several references including vet, farrier, clients, personal references and peer references. The last piece for my application I sent in was a video and several photographs of my facility and property so Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue knew the horses would be safe and have quality care and management.

GM: Once you were accepted, how were horses assigned?
DY: Heart of Phoenix announced the selected trainers May 1st, later information was sent explaining how horse selection and pickup worked. On May 15th all of the trainers drove to meet at Winfield riding club in West Virginia and each trainer was a given a raffle ticket. The corresponding ticket was placed in a bucket and the founder of Heart of Phoenix, Tinia Creamer pulled tickets blindly and whenever the trainer’s ticket number was called, we chose our horse. This was a bit tricky as before the tickets were drawn each horse was ran into the round pen for all the trainers to view and many of us were making lists of our top choices. As tickets were drawn some horses were picked so I had to move down my list. I personally started with a list of horses I liked then before we started choosing me and my husband discussed them and rated them. Luckily, I got my second pick and am more than happy that I was able to bring Cherry home.

GM: Cherry is a beautiful mare (I’ve been watching your progress!). Are you happy with the horse you were given?
DY: Cherry was my number two choice, so I am in fact quite satisfied with her. She has turned out even better than I could have expected. Cherry is a 6-year-old chestnut quarter horse cross mare that seized in a severe neglect case in Ohio. She was living in a very small area with 3 other horses, fortunately for her she made it out alive unlike the other 3. Cherry has one of the most amazing personalities and dispositions of any horse I’ve has the pleasure of working with. Cherry Pie is affectionate, sane, and so intelligent (almost to a fault haha). She faces challenges head on with a steady mind and doesn’t become flustered easily, I believe this is mainly due to the trauma she’s been through, yet we have molded that into something useful for her to become a good citizen. Cherry is a bit quirky as she is almost more like a puppy than a horse. She is constantly demanding attention and kisses. Cherry is known best for her smile she gives constantly especially if there’s a treat in your pocket.

GM: Bringing Cherry back to your ranch, it probably took her a couple of days to settle in. What training methods do you use to start a horse?
DY: When we first arrived with Cherry, we put her in the round pen to acclimate to her surroundings as from there she is able to see the majority of the property and the other horses that are in the pasture. Every horse is different and due to that I tailor my training methods based on the horse’s mental state is as well as their learning style. With the time frame given we went right to work the following day and to my surprise Cherry offered quite a bit that first day, so we made quite a bit of head way immediately. The first day with her specifically, and with all of my training horses I work them in a rope halter with a long lead. Cherry I knew had an issue with personal space, so we started working on backing up and coming off the halter, from there I did several other ground work exercises that help set some basic boundaries that translate to all aspects of her life and training. I also introduced desensitizing objects in the first day to gauge her reaction and how quickly she was able to realize the object wasn’t meant to hurt her and to test her tolerance for what she was going to be open to, if I needed to scale back and go slower or if she was quickly able to discern this as non-harmful and continue on. Considering how smart she is I wanted to see if she would allow me to show her the saddle which quickly and easily ended up with her being saddled and lunged the first day with no qualms. Typically, once I’m able to get a horse saddled a few times with no reaction and desensitize them to the noises of the saddle I will work on putting weight in the saddle. Some horses don’t care at all and I can get on the first day, some take a few days to feel the weight and get used to it without fully sitting in the saddle. Cherry was quite easy to start; it took a few days of practicing putting weight in the stirrups before getting on and that went extremely well. From there it’s just keeping forward motion on the horses, not knit picking them and lots of praise/ rewards. Of course, as they progress there’s a whole other side to training that would take a lot more writing and time to discuss.

GM: How has Cherry progressed? What has been her main stumbling blocks? What are her main assets?
DY: Cherry has progressed rather smoothly and with a lot of ease for the most part. Her biggest stumbling blocks have mainly come from her learning to deal with her trauma. She was almost closed off when she came in just completely shutting out what had happened to her. At some point in our training that started to bubble up, so she needed to learn how to work through it and deal with it. With lots of positive reinforcement training and turnout with the other horses she has been able to start healing and continue progressing. Everything about Cherry is an asset! She’s willing, loving, has a huge personality, works hard without much guff (she is a red mare after all), and learns quickly! She’s a little too smart for her own good as she can figure out if you forgot to latch the gate or if you’re zoning out riding, she will stop. She’s by far one of the neatest horses I’ve trained and with her outgoing personality and willingness she will be able to go in several directions and be open to new adventures. I can’t forget that Cherry adores children. We have had a few kids on her, and my 4-year-old is her main caretaker at this point; feeding, turning her out, hand grazing, applying fly spray and so on.

GM: With the Face Off ending the end of August, what are your expectations for the upcoming sale? Where would you like to see Cherry at the end of the event?
DY: My main expectation is that I will be able to do my best as her trainer and partner to show the potential in her in front of everyone. I am not as concerned about placing and winnings as I am with doing my due diligence to prepare her and let her shine. At the end of the event I would like to see Cherry finish each part of the competition confidentially and comfortably. Mainly, I would LOVE to see Cherry be adopted by someone who will continue with her brilliant mind and enjoy her every bit as much as I do. I’d love to be handing her off at the end to her new partner(s) knowing she and I did everything we could to positively represent her, Heart of Phoenix and rescue horses.

GM: Will you participate again next year?
DY: I have enjoyed this experience so much that I have given thought to applying again next year. I’d say it’s highly likely I will send in my application for 2020.

GM: Do you have advice for next year's trainers who are looking to participate in the Face Off?
DY: The best advice I can give those wanting to compete in this competition or others similar is to not focus on the timeline, don’t think about the money or the marketing or any of that. Focus on your horse and what they need. If it takes more or less time that’s fine, do right by your horse and chip away at progress. Don’t compare yourself to other trainers. Each of us have our own way of training, each of us have a different horse who came from different circumstances. The goal is to help your horse be the best they can be, it will come. “Take the time it takes, so it takes less time.”

GM: Overall, Devin, what have you derived from this experience and how has it helped you grow as a trainer?
DY: I mainly wanted to do this competition not only to help these horses who have been disadvantaged but to challenge myself as a trainer. I wanted to learn more and find the holes in my own education and help myself grow as a person and a Horse Woman. The biggest take away I have learned from this experience is to always put the horse first no matter the time frame, no matter the circumstances. By putting the horse first, you learn more about them personally, you’re not just putting them through the paces of your training program. At times during the competition I felt the weight of the 100 days closing in or didn’t believe we were far enough but focusing on my horse’s needs and what she can mentally and physically handle is the most important part of all of this, as from here she will go on to a new family to be a successful citizen.

Connect with Devin…




Gina McKnight is a freelance writer from Ohio, USA. gmcknight.com

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