A Tribute to Redeemed With Praise by Shelby

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I would like to share something a very special young lady wrote about one of Praise Hallelujah’s offspring. Shelby leased Redeemed With Praise when he was a young horse and finished his training. She was only around 11 as I remember and Redeemed was 3. The young colt had a growth problem and grew to be narrow with long legs. He was ridable, but as he got older he began stumbling more and more and also when he lay down to rest, couldn’t get back up, necessitating aid. Eventually we had to make the painful decession to let him go to Green Pastures.

Remembering Redeemed, this is what Shelby wrote:

To all of my friends, horse people and other:
Most – if not all – of you will remember I once leased a horse named Redeem. My first horse, he was incredibly special to me. I learned a lot from him and he changed my life. Sadly, after two and a half years together, physical ailments led to the time when he had to be put to rest. I was thirteen then. But even now, over six years later, he is still a part of me; because what he taught me will remain with me forever. The following short story is a tribute to Redeem and the time and love we shared. Though we could not speak to one another, we understood each other on a remarkably deep level. We spoke with our hearts. Now this story brings to life that connection in a way I can share with everyone.


The sky was painted crimson gold overhead as the large, round sun began disappearing on the horizon. Clouds dotted the sky, their color now solid violet in the diminishing light. The silhouettes of the trees in the distance danced in the evening’s gentle breeze. The atmosphere was calm and peaceful. Everything felt right.
I sat cross-legged on the green grass, propped up on my hands as I leaned back and watched the sunset. My lips were pulled up at the corners into a contented smile. Happy thoughts played in my head and I couldn’t help but think about how truly wonderful life really could be.
“Do you remember when we watched the sunset at the barn like this?” I asked, looking up to the large horse standing beside me.
His deep, brown eyes stared down at me from under a disarrayed forelock, making me smile wider. His golden coat gleamed in the light and the thin blaze running down his slender face seemed pure white. His ears were pricked forward in my direction, which made him look all the more handsome.
Of course, he said with a beautiful and soft voice.
“It was so tranquil… So peaceful,” I said, turning back to the fiery sky. “It’s funny. Those were always the times that I would feel like God was right there with me. But I used to not think about God at all. I never prayed or anything. And yet out here, I just felt Him. It wasn’t long before I started feeling God everywhere… But sitting out here was always special.”
I could hear the contentment in Redeem’s voice as he answered. Yes, those were wonderful times. And God is watching over you, whether you pray or not. He enjoys your happiness just as much as I do.
“Thanks,” I said. “I’m glad I mean as much to you as you do to me. You’re the best I could ever ask for. And not just because it’s every girl’s dream to have a horse of her own to love,” I added.
Redeem snorted cheerfully. I laughed.
“Yeah, and we’ve had so many great experiences together, haven’t we?”
He bobbed his head once, his dark, round eyes staring directly into mine. We have indeed.
I laughed to myself then. “Remember that time I spent the night at the barn?” I asked him. “It was so cold.”
Yes, you stowed away in the tack room across from my stall, didn’t you? I remember in the middle of the night you came out and turned on the light.
“Oh, yeah! I heard this banging and I thought it was you in your stall. I came out to check on you but you were just staring at me half-asleep. That one horse had been rolling around on the floor kicking the walls in the stall next to you!”
I heard him give a low laugh. How about the time we were riding and an ear of corn suddenly fell from the tree next to us? That was startling.
“Ah-hah, I know!”
Squirrels are funny creatures, aren’t they? Bringing corn up into the tree to eat.
“I gotta wonder if he was dropping it because he was done eating or if he was aiming,” I smirked. “But we’ve sure seen a lot of other animals out on the trails, huh?”
Yes, we have.
“Deer, hawks, snakes, coyotes…”
…Cranes, groundhogs. Even a skunk.
I chuckled. “Yep! We turned around when we saw that skunk.”
Better safe than sorry, he added.
“Definitely,” I agreed.
The blazing sun inched a bit lower in the sky. The clouds overhead drifted lazily. I wasn’t paying much attention to them anymore though, as my mind was wondering now.
“I still remember the first time we met, too,” I said, dreaming about the memory. “I had two horses to pick from. I thought it was the most exciting decision I had ever had to make. But you know, I hardly remember the other horse. The way you looked at me, there was no doubt I would choose you. I just knew you were special. The decision turned out to be surprisingly easy. The only thing was, I had always been riding small horses that didn’t go very fast. You were so big!”
And you were so small, he countered playfully. We both laughed.
“Well, I’m not now, am I?”
No, he answered. You have grown beautifully.
“Yeah… you and I together – I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve learned so much. And yet you still seem big to me. Maybe it’s just because of the size of your heart. Even with mature eyes, you’re still the most beautiful horse I have ever seen, inside and out.” I paused, and then laughed quietly. “I do still sound like a little love-struck girl when I’m talking about you though, don’t I?” I said, looking up at him.
It’s a part of who you are. You will always hold that young and carefree child in your heart. Even with age you still maintain that spirit.
“And even now, you haven’t changed either. You’re just as sweet as you were when we first met. Just as loving… It’s funny, how the whole world changes every day and yet love always remains the same.”
You’re right. Love always remains.
It was silent for several moments besides the occasional chirp of a bird or rustle of leaves in the breeze. I might have considered thanking Redeem then for everything he had given me over time, for all that he had done. But when I thought about it, I had given him just as much in return: all the love he could ever hope for. A thank you wasn’t necessary for either of us; we understood this already.
“I feel so different than how I was before I met you,” I noted absentmindedly, looking out at the expanse of land before us. “I feel like a whole different person…”
I don’t believe you are any different. I believe you only discovered who you truly are.
“Everything seems to have changed… but maybe you’re right… Maybe deep down, I’ve been the same all along. Maybe I just never knew who I really was…” The breeze blew on my face and I inhaled the sweet scents it carried. My voice was quiet when I spoke again. “You showed me, you know. You showed me how to be the person I was meant to be. I am who I am because of you.”
I watched a cloud with wispy ends float over us high up above. “You taught me how to find my own happiness,” I said. “You taught me… to be free. That’s something I will take with me for the rest of my life. I’m glad God chose such a special horse for me,” I smiled up at Redeem.
He lowered his head closer to me. And I am glad He gave such an incredible young girl to me. We belong to each other. In our hearts, we are one. It will be this way always. As you said, love will never change and our bond will never weaken. Love lasts forever.
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” I recited. “And the greatest of these is love. The love God has for us and the love we share with each other. Forever and always.”
Forever and always.
The evening drew nearer to an end as the sun sank even lower. Its glow was softer than ever now as it faded, yet its color had become the most intense. It was the color of fire, pure red. The stars would be coming out soon, too, dotting the open space above. The darker it became, the brighter their light would shine. Nowadays I loved the nighttime just as much as the day.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked. “The sunset I mean. I love the way the sky changes colors.”
It is beautiful, he agreed.
“Yeah…” I sighed. “I wish we could just sit here like this forever.” The breeze swirled around us, soft and cool.
Yes. The sun must set though, Redeem said gently.
“I know.” I knew very well perfect moments couldn’t last forever.
However, Redeem began. I looked up into his eyes staring back down at me. They were full of affection and contentment. Although the sun sets, there is always tomorrow.
“…I know that,” I smiled warmly. “You taught me that, too.”
Redeem nuzzled me softly and I stroked his velvet nose once before giving him a kiss. Then we both turned back and watched the sun disappear below the tree line beneath a crimson sky together.

~Shelby Burge


Soring of Tennessee Walkers not ended


And so it goes. Soring is not gone.
Robin Webb is quoted as saying that she does not sore her horses, that she loves them and they love her. I do have to wonder. Then she says in response to Jackie Mc Connell’s tape that caught him beating a Tennessee Walker in his barn, that one does not know what happened before or after that video, stating that: “These are animals that are very dangerous,” and, “Every breed has training techniques that animal-rights groups find offensive.” Seriously? The Tennessee Walking Horse as a breed is one of the most gentle. That is why this awful abuse has been able to go on for so long. If you are a horse person and know breeds… can you imagine soring an Arabian horse, for instance? And our gentle stallions take the most abuse to make them “World Champions” for high breeding fees.
I wrote my book: “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot,” to help bring to light this miserable training technique. I saw it done to horses I showed against. My book, however, is much more. I share the history of the breed and personal anecdotes of my own Tennessee Walking Horses. Be sure to check it out. http://www.rosemiller.net

KY State Senator Cited for Violating HPA

by RMHP Staff

Kentucky state Senator Robin Webb was cited for violations of the Horse Protection Act.

Two of her horses were found in violation of the “scar rule,” which led to their disqualification at an October horse show, according to the USDA. The horses were inspected by PRIDE HIO inspectors.

According to HPA regulations, in order for a scar rule violation to be issued, there has to be bilateral evidence of abuse indicative of soring, or scars on both feet. Scar rule violations are detected by observation, and feeling the pastern skin.

Webb, an opponent of federal legislation to ban the use of pads and chains, told the Lexington Herald-Leader she did not abuse her animals. “I don’t sore my horses,” Webb said. “I love my horses, and my horses love me.”

Her horse trainer Donald Stamper was also cited for multiple violations.

The gaited horse industry came under scrutiny after undercover video of Jackie McConnell hit the national airwaves showing him soring, beating, and shocking horses with a cattle prod. McConnell pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of conspiring to violate the HPA. His first violation was in 1979.

Webb told the Herald-Leader that the Tennessee walking horse industry has been “demonized,” in light of that video. “You don’t know what happened five minutes before or five minutes after. … These are animals that are very dangerous,” Webb said. “Every breed has training techniques that animal-rights groups find offensive.”

Webb was named TWHBEA 2012 Performance Horse Ambassador for her participation in USDA discussions. She spoke before the group last month at it’s annual meeting.

I Love Friesian Horses! Enjoy

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Xanadu, my first Tennessee Walking Horse stallion became a National Supreme Versatility Champion in 1988. He actually looked like a miniature Friesian horse. When I saw the movie, “Ladyhawke” I fell in love with the Friesian breed. That was the horse the hero rode.


youtube video for “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot” Please enjoy and share!

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New book review for “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot.”

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The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot: A Life with Tennessee Walking Horses: Lessons Learned and Memories Shared

By: Rose Miller
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: November 2009
ISBN: 978-1608442645
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: Decdember 30, 2012

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend your life surrounded by majestic horses, reading Rose Miller’s memoir, The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot, will give you a very good idea. Miller shares, with unusual candor, the ups, downs, joys, and heartaches that anybody who has loved a horse has likely experienced.

Miller begins her memoir by briefly recounting her early years where her love of horses began. Her father would frequently stop by a nearby stable after church so his young daughter could pet the horses. When she was eight, they moved to a farm and Miller was able to enjoy the family’s two farm horses. It was, by all accounts, a wonderful childhood. After marrying Hal, a very patient chiropractor, Miller once again found herself living on a small farm. But their brief stint into farm life was cruelly interrupted by a tornado. Moving to a small house, the farm life, and horses, would have to wait.

Several years later, when Miller’s ten-year-old daughter Sharon announced that she wanted a horse, it appeared the four-legged animals would once again be part of Miller’s life. The family soon had three horses and needed to find a farm. Once the farm was found, it wasn’t long before the herd began to grow. That was in the 1970s and from that long ago decade through 2009, Miller shares with the reader all her triumphs and failures as she learned the business of breeding, raising, and showing horses.

Miller’s first horses included a quiet, older Quarter Horse and an opinionated Appaloosa, but things would soon change. It didn’t take long for Miller to decide she wanted to breed a specific type of horse and she settled on Arabians. That worked well for a while, but eventually Miller’s bad back got in the way of training young horses. A client of her husband suggested Miller consider Tennessee Walking Horses, a breed known for their smooth gaits. Miller took the man’s advice and when she rode her first Tennessee Walker, she was hooked. Soon she had a breeding program and was showing her horses, fairly successfully, on the local show circuit.

The horses that the reader meets within the pages of The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot, are varied, and loads of fun to read about. Miller is open and quite honest about her mistakes as she learned the proper way to train, breed, and show her animals. We see the outcomes of her mistakes, and the wonderful results that her love and talents brought to many animals. Miller dedicates a fair amount of her story to the issue of the “Big Lick,” a blight on the world of these magnificent animals. It is a training method in which various, painful, methods are used to increase the action of the front legs. It is a cruel and highly controversial subject and the author is to be commended for tackling it in her book. She should also be commended for taking in one of her stallion’s daughters, a mare who had serious problems due to “soring,” one of the methods used to get the Big Lick look. Cookie would become a treasured member of Miller’s family and her story will touch your heart.

While I’m a “horse person” and have had horses almost my entire life, I have never ridden, or known, a Tennessee Walking Horse. Number wise, they are one of the smaller breeds. But Miller’s description of these noble animals has definitely piqued my interest. As with many breeds where man has interfered and created a horse for the show ring, while ignoring the true value of a natural horse, the Tennessee Walking Horse has suffered greatly at the hands of those entrusted with its care. Miller believes that the breed’s popularity would be much greater if the Big Lick had never been created, or at the very least, stopped. It’s hard to disagree with that premise. When you read this book, and meet the wonderful equines that filled Miller’s barn, you too will wonder how anybody could inflict such pain to their horses. You will also, no doubt, want to meet a Tennessee Walking Horse and start an adventure of your own.

Quill says: A heartfelt, fast-reading, and eye-opening look into the world of Tennessee Walking Horses and the joy they gave one woman.

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