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An equestrian education

Posted: December 6, 2008 9:05 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Raul Matos, demonstrates the unique trot of El Marcador de Cache, a Paso Fino Stallion during a horse seminar held at Melody Oaks Ranch Saturday. The event, which began at 9 a.m. brought together all sorts of horse lovers as well as experts in different fields regarding the animal.

"This country was built on horses - this whole world was built on horses," said Cate Crismani of True Cowboy Magazine as she spoke to several horse lovers and owners on Saturday at Melody Oaks Ranch in Newhall on the issue of mustang rescues.

Crismani wanted her audience to understand that although Madeleine Pickens, wife of oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, recently rescued 30,000 mustangs from euthanization, the fight for the rights of mustangs and horses is far from over and there should be no distinction between breeds.

"The world needs to know these animals are part of our heritage - they should be treated as part of history and respected as such," she said.

Crismani touched on the controversy between ranchers' interests and those who want to keep the animals in the wild.

"They don't want to go where the cows and humans are," she said. "They want to be with their families."

Crismani was one of many who spoke at the "Introduction to Natural Horse Care" informational event hosted by the ranch, a small, private boarding facility that practices holistic and natural methods of board and care for horses.

Tanii Carr of Melody Oaks Ranch organized the event because she wants to educate people about the holistic ways of caring for horses that she's learned in her years of owning and boarding horses.

For instance, "Placing shavings outside so horses can pee outside allows the air to dissipate the ammonia," Carr said.

Speakers addressed a number of topics from equine dentistry to barefoot methods and natural horsemanship, a method that promotes a relationship of communication and understanding between horse and caretaker as opposed to fear and intimidation.

Carr said she only invited those with whom she's had a positive experience to speak.

"If I pass on this knowledge, it gives people more information," she said. "I really love educating people and giving them choices."

Carr said she hopes to hold more educational events in the future. Contact her at


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