Sunday, August 26, 2012

All Bets Are Off & Updates

We've been MIA for a little while, but we have SO much to report!

***The blog will be moving to our updated website,, so please be patient with us during the transition and look for future updates there!***

First off, Ace! He went to TTC this weekend with the wonderful Erin O'Rourke and won the 18" Jumpers Division (his first time over a course at a show!) and placed in the 2' class! He schooled the Beginner Novice Event course like a pro! Way to go for the pair!

Second, we have a new rescue! Say a big welcome to "All Bets are Off", AKA "Bets" an 8 year old Paint mare! We know she doesn't look skinny now, but that's all due to the hard work of TTC in Mocksville, NC! They took her in as an owner surrender, along with her two pasture mates, when her owner couldn't care for her anymore. She came in with a body score of 1-2, but has obviously flourished. A sweet and willing mare, TTC thought she might be ideal for our program, and asked us to evaluate! We agreed, and so she has moved to HKSR&R, and has already been started under saddle! More picks to come, but today she lunged and rode walk/trot in our indoor arena, and was absolutely bombproof when the plane flew overhead! We think she may have some minimal experience under saddle, at least with being handled, but right now she doesn't have much steering! Look for more information soon, and hopefully soon this sweet girl (also barefoot sound) will be looking for her forever home!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Gelding is a hot topic in the horse world. Many people prefer to ride geldings, and horses that haven’t been demonstrated to be worth breeding are often gelded even by professional breeders. However, there is another group of people, those who don’t geld the colt or stallion they buy or breed, but aren’t sure what to do with him. Often, many reasons are given for not gelding, including cost, and sometimes a human sentiment that it is cruel to do so. With all of these questions being out there, what does the evidence show?

Regardless, gelding removes the hormones (testosterone) from the stallion, typically allowing the male horse to be calmer and better behaved, often more suitable as an every-day working animal.  Ideally, gelding also helps insure that only the absolute best horses are bred, decreasing the risk of an ‘oops’ pregnancy in the horse world, and therefore decreasing the chance of a potentially dangerous (to the mare) pregnancy and very expensive baby afterward. Unlike mares or stallions, geldings are typically free of the hormone-driven urges that can make handling difficult. This is particularly true when gelding is done in the younger horse. Gelding also allows more horses to live closely and safely than maintaining intact stallions, particularly with mares in close proximity.

A horse may be gelded at any age, but if it is know a horse will not be used for breeding, gelding at less than a year of age is typically recommended. New research has shown that any muscle a horse gains by delaying gelding is eventually lost, and there is no net growth change with gelding at a year. With safer practices now available, it is becoming increasingly more feasible to geld older horses safely, allowing them a less restrictive later life than they may have otherwise experienced.

There are some risks to gelding, like any surgery, including swelling, infection and bleeding, but these complications are rare in a properly sedated horse under the care of an experienced veterinarian.

The bigger risk is the inexperienced horseperson (and it takes a LOT of experience with stallions to be experienced) with a stallion. By nature, stallions are more aggressive than other horses. They tend to try to dominate both other horses and human handlers. In particular children should not be involved in handling stallions, as their behavior is unpredictable. Stallions can potentially be kept with other stallions, as long as mares are not around. However, if one has a mixed herd of horses, but doesn’t plan to breed, keeping a stallion is a bad idea and often leads to unintended foals.

So in summary? For most people geldings are a MUCH better choice than stallions! Aside from behavior risks, accidental pregnancies, riding preference, etc., it is also typically easier to find a home for a gelding than a stallion, as specialty facilities are often required for them. Equally important, only the very best horses should be bred. This means that even though your stallion (or mare for that matter) is super sweet and wonderful, if they haven’t won competitions, proven their soundness and viability in the horse world and show how they handle training and work, they probably shouldn’t breed, because only the best-behaved, best-conformation horses should go on to make more horses. It’s already hard enough to find a home for the ‘oops’ ones. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Emergency Preparedness

Equine Emergency Preparedness

At a time when the wildfires are devastating the west, including Colorado, it seems that we should ALL look at dealing with natural disasters. There are a lot of great articles at and – worth taking the time to look at. I’m in North Carolina, and we have to deal with everything from tornadoes to floods to hurricanes.

I have summarized their disaster plan as follows:
  1. Disaster Type. Familiarize yourself with the disasters that could occur in your area, with a written plan of action for each type of disaster. Review this with everyone involved in the plan and make sure emergency contacts are posted in your barn.
  2. Evacuation/Confinement. Survey your location for the best site of animal confinement for each type of disaster. Identify food and water sources that don’t rely on electricity. Know where your horses would go in case of evacuation.
  3. Identification. Photograph each horse from the left, right, face, and of any specific markings. Make sure you have a photo of you with your horse to identify you as the owner. Keep a copy of any registration/identification information with the photos and consider tattooing, branding or microchipping for permanent identification. Remember that if you know in advance, you can always do temporary identification such as contact information on the halter (duct tape is useful), information pained on hooves, or specialized clipping jobs (i.e. hip number).
  4. Health Records. Keep vaccinations and Coggins up to date, and record any special dietary products, medicines or supplements the horse might need.
  5. Transportation. Keep your trailer and towing vehicle in good working condition and insured. If you don’t have your own trailer, make sure you know who would evacuate your horses!
  6. Feed. Have adequate hay and grain on hand, preferably at least a 3 day supply.
  7. Medical Supplies. Keep emergency medicines on hand, and consider having a tranquilizer that you know how to administer if you need it. Make sure to have both a people and horse first-aid kit.
  8. Barn Supplies. Make sure each horse has a designated lead rope and halter (needs to be break-away or leather in an emergency situation to make sure the horse doesn’t get caught on something). Make sure to have adequate water and feed bowls, preferably one for each horse. Don’t forget bedding, blankets in winter, and shovels/wheelbarrow, etc. if there is space.
  9. Labeling. Keep tags on hand that you can easily attach with your name, address, horse’s name and description, vet information and special needs.
  10. Planning. Know what horses are going where in case of evacuation, and which ones are going first, i.e. who can travel with whom? If everyone can’t get out, who gets to go? Better to have made these hard decisions in advance.
  11. Map. Know the area around your evacuation site!
  12. Review. Revisit your information at least annually to make sure it is still up to date.
  13. Marking. Specially mark your horse, either with auction paint or by shaving your phone number on the horse’s neck. Consider putting a plastic baggy with information duct-taped to the horse’s halter and a luggage tag with information braided in the mane (but not tied around the tail!).
  14. Remember that in the worst case, your horse or livestock may be just turned loose to fend for itself, and the more ways there are to identify it, the better chance of a return home!
Image Below Courtesy of; 140 of the horses displaced by the fire. 
Colorado wildfire now 50 percent contained

We're on TV!

Hidden K Stables Rescue & Rehab on ABC 45!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Courtesy of Catherine Clegg, we have some amazing new marketing materials for Ace! As you can see, he is doing well under saddle and has started over crossrails! He is up for rehoming; his rehoming fee is $5500. For information, contact Dana Winn at We will be happy to email you his full marketing brochure and set up a time to meet him!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pony Rides & BOD Pictures

For Iselle's Birthday, she kindly hosted a party, and asked for donations instead of gifts! And for her birthday, she got to ride Ace! And he was SO good, even without a saddle. And for her party, he even gave pony rides. All in a good day's work, right? And gave the BOD some shenanigans during photo time!