"Proven Products for Horse and Rider"


Argentina 1945:  Cathy's grandparents with their children.  Shown left to right: Bill, Carol, Patsy and Marthabel Cook (who was also horse crazy as a child)  Four generations strong of riders in Cathy's family tree.


WARNING:  We are professionals and have imprinted and desensitized our horses from birth.  Do not try to do any of the stunts shown in this production without the proper training for horse and rider and safety equipment such as helmets, vests, safety stirrups and footwear. 

Photos are shown from most recent to past

    One Day at a Time - Sweet Jesus.

Cathy's winter home for 2017-18.  Notice how CLEAN the Cabarn is.  We now have room to move around and work on winter projects in a proper shop. 

No employees.  THANK goodness we have so much machinery to make our work efficient! and keeping with customer dead lines.

Thank you all for your patience!

one very busy shop

building inventory for 2018

Our dear friends from China came and helped us again in the shop.  Love you guys!

Hydraulic breaks

Tire cracks.., needs replacing

Baring out ....

Into the night, with break downs

It was a tough fall.  Snow, rain, mud, break downs.

Capped by horrid pricing.

   Our trucks are over 60 years old and the combine is over 30 years and with the scale of economics on new or newer equipment, is really hurting the small farmer, forcing many to retire or go all in and go HUGE.  2,000 acres is the minimum that is needed at this time for things to work.  We farm 540 acres, which nearly all is rented ground.

With our disabilities, and no one to take over the farming operation, the writing is on the wall.

Back in Minnesota for the Fall Harvest

Cathy's new job. That became available after 32 years.

A Combine driver

Open for the 2017 season.  Great time by all.

Due to the neck issue that Cathy has, her riding is tenuous. However she was able to get 5 rides in!  Don on the other hand - was not able to ride even once.  His femur leg with rod and screws limit his ability to ride a bike, cycle or horse or sit on anything that spreads his legs.  We are working on trying to resolve that by in home therapy.



Great Guest Speakers!

Marinated and ready for the Cooking Pit

Then his BUDDIES arrive..... OK "Stop drinking all my water!"

Back at camp for a resting bath and horses are at large.

Hernando loves the fresh bath water.


Don's horse did great.  No matter the jumps, pokes, etc.  He stays by Cathy's side.  (like ..the trail was blocked so he had no choice!)


Trail cleared for the 2017 year



Loaded. and YES as per Don's request, Cathy sent photo's to where she was to her neighbors so they would know where to look if things did not go well.  NEVER ride alone and if you HAVE TO, let someone know where you are. 

I have since found out that Google Maps, has a tracking feature that for 2 hours will let someone know where you are.  So that too is a great thing.


Back in Custer SD

Preparing for the 2017 season of riders.

Trail clearing - after two years Cathy is working - by her self on clearing the trail over Custer mountain.  She took Hernando, who now has that dreadful job under his belt of accomplishing


Heading to Custer for the riding season - a quick stop at Costco first.

Never sign off on injury releases.  Who knew Cathy is one of those persons who does not feel pain in her spine. Her neck healed in this way and has been pinching on nerves that run to her arm.  This has become an issue causing her to loose feeling and function, as well as, chronic nerve pain.  Surgery is not an option.

Cathy has found relief from the video the Classical Stretch, and from an incredible doctor who is a neurologist and a Board Certified Biofeedback Pain Specialist  that works with Alpha-Stem and Amethyst BioMat. Amazing results.

We sincerely hope to get him as a guest speaker in South Dakota this coming 2018 year

2017 Minnesota Horse Expo was a HUGE success!

Thank you all!

Happy, Happy Customers 


Working to get ready for the Minnesota Horse


Don is up and can stand for about 15 to 20 minutes,  due to chronic pain - which is ( his new normal) as a result from the accident.  But as he says "what is the alternative"?  Both Cathy and Don have adjusted to their new lifestyle.  Don is spraying glue on our billets that both he and Cathy make.


The Tauering Pines Vacation "get-a-way" is really taking shape.

The Entertainment studio is now complete!

Plan your next vacation to the Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota


Spring coming and working outside


Dead lines - always seemed to be pushed back...

masonry work on out side of Dome

Don setting up game table.

Cathy up high finishing wood work on top windows

Floor DONE!

Putting hardwood floor down

Cathy wallpapering

Don painting

Cathy's winter residence winter 2016-7




A VERY SLOW MN Horse expo this year. 2016


Don Getting fitted for special pads in his shoes at $480.00!


Issie on the teeter- tauter.

AND I THOUGHT.... (silly me).... that I did a good job training.  THERE IS ALWAYS someone better!


THANK YOU SHARON!  Sharon is a life time customer who bought her first panel saddle from us in 1989!  She trains and riding in nothing else.  It is the only saddle that allows the horse to move freely and focus on tasks and not equipment discomfort.


Floppy Flags

LOOK and Step over things

Up and IN.  Issie can be in the Circus

Hanging stuff Training.

Swinging things

Now this is something odd?  Wow says Issie!

My Issie.

  I was unable to work on her last fall , do to our accident.   Now spring is here.   I took Issie for a walk a 1/4 mile,  in hand and my knee stayed swollen for two days!  So the next week I tried to the lunge her.  I thought my wrist got re-broken...So I tried to saddle her, which I could not... So I had the neighbor come over to help me.  I led her to the round pen, but  I could not even hold the lounge whip in my left hand.

OH MY GOSH... my passion of training trail horse companions has been taken from me.  Issie is three and needs to be started under saddle. 

An old customer/friend of ours, from the town over, is an outstanding horsemen.  Sharon, has and uses all the common sense you rarely find today.  She has 3 acres of a horsy play ground and uses all the same tack I do!  A panel saddle lady like me for 19 years!.  Her stock is incredible. In  just four days,  Issie can  be ridden bare back and is being worked with full gear.  She gets  2 -3 short lessons a day.  She is willing and calm.  Sharon is a God send.   Sharon too is a survivor of a horrible rear end collision, and has a permanent neck damage

Don needs to check the plumbing in the RV to ready it for the riding season.  Up the stairs he goes.  Determination to have some sort of life. "normal"

Don is a good crawler... but he says the 45degree on his foot is a bit of an issue when he crawls ... Now... that is so sad... but very funny.  Way to go DON... fight for it!!  you can walk some day... just gotta keep putting one knee and hopefully one foot in front of the other.  We still do not know if his femur is healing but at least he has the hardware out of his heal (calcanious)... but walking on that foot is still way off too..    YEP the Meth Drug Dealer kid is STILL walking FREE!  nice huh?

Don is learning to live with half a leg... he can not walk but pushes himself around.  Down the stairs to get to the shower. 

Don after his nearly 4 hour surgery. This is number 6 and 7.  The hardware in his right heal was removed.  A new larger rod inserted in his left femur.  We pray that this time it will heal.  Third time is the charm they say.


After surgery at 4 pm,  I said good night to a very groggy Don.  Through the night, Don  kept bleeding… but from where?  They changed the bedding on his bed two times and then in the morning pulled a compression pad off that was very heavy with blood.  (like a menstruation pad on a heavy day.)  They set it aside to check with another nurse as this was unusual.  A  nurse came in and started to check all the bandaging and low and behold… someone forgot to stitch up a incision!  She said we will have to schedule him to get this fixed.  I said forget it, and to make a note of it in their records.  I'll do it when I get home.  WE ARE OUT OF HERE! So home we went. 

  the 3/4 inch hole that someone forgot to stitch up.  If you get a wound within 24-36 hours before it starts to granulate it heals up slick as snot!

After a peroxide wipe down, pinch shut and seal with crazy glue (by the way, they do this in clinics around the world). Don is good as new.  You may ask why can they not do this in hospital?  It is easy, fast and effective?  Two words, politics and money.  I say no more.  Are we upset ? … no… everyone makes mistakes.  

All other wounds are perfect. 

Perfect stitching everywhere else!

"Ahh, my mouth feels so much better"


"Oh...those back there, those that I can not see but feel on the sides of my tongue and cheeks"

"My teeth do not look that bad"

"Is it really that time of year again? It is March 23 and we got 7 inches of snow."

YOU KNOW KIDS.... every year you have to get your teeth checked.  BUT not every year do you have to have them floated.  Please horse owners, do not float your horses teeth every year unless they seriously need it.  I am running into horses that have NO TEETH left by age 16 due to over floating.  CHECK your horses mouth every year and grind those points, hooks and waves accordingly.

"Hello,  I like to meet new people this way.  

So you are from China? 

My family is from Peru, but I was born here.  I'm an American horse now.  However my breed is called the Peruvian Paso Horse"

I was to be completely trained last year at age three, but my owners got hurt.  So now that I am four, I am sooooooo ready to start my training under saddle. 

My Name is Bella, pleased to meet you."




Another surgery needed.  A second attempt of trying to get the non-union femur to heal.  Will Don ever be done?  This will make 7 surgeries.  All because of Distracted Driving, in which the kid was high on Meth (and a known drug dealer), who killed one of his passengers & leaving the other a vegetable for life.  This man is currently out walking around free because he his rights were violated due to him being unconscious at time his vehicle was illegally searched without a warrant ( they found piles of drugs etc.) and with out consent, his blood drawn.  NICE SYSTEM WE HAVE.  A REVOLVING DOOR! 

I DO NOT CARE any more!  OUR SYSTEM IS BROKEN!  VOTE for someone who is NOT the system and has the guts to stand up and change things.  BECAUSE believe you me... it will be YOU or someone you love next time.  I PRAY for our country.  WE ARE IN TROUBLE FOLKS and the house and senate has been republican for the past two years and nothing changed.  YOU ALL KNOW our options.  VOTE for some with GUTS, and business sense. 

13 weeks have passed and Don's femur is not healing.  With Femur and Calcanious (heal)  breaks due to high impact head on collisions are the hardest to repair and heal.  Don will be going in for another surgery called Dynamization on his nonunion femur.  This is where they will compress the fracture together in hopes that it will mend.  Good news;  his heal is now strong enough to begin physical therapy.   

Remember NO distracted and driving!

Don is helping with the yearly clean of our saddles.

It was a short, fast, stressful summer.  We can only pray that Don can return to his passion of farming, and that Cathy can again ride and train horses by spring of next year. 

Don is so happy to be home, as are the cats.  He will be home on and off for 7 or so days at a time, heading back and forth to the Twin Cities for Dr. Apts,  until December.  It will be at that time before he can even think about weight baring on his foot.  All that bone needs to grow back in on the cadaver bone along with the clots that need to be re-absorbed.

I want to sincerely thank all those customers who waited for me to get their orders out.  It just takes us longer to get things done, but we do persevere.  Thank you for your orders.

The Custer Pavilion is complete.  All is on schedule, or sort of, as we got behind a bit on Rhea's passive Natural Space dome home, due to the accident.


The out door fire place is complete with the adobe pizza oven



The Sauna complete and is fabulous.  It has both long and short heat waves of infrared and can be used as both a dry or a steam sauna.

THE FOLLOWING is in Chronological ORDER

story told in the first person by Cathy

On August 16th 2015 our lives changed forever.  We were hit head on at 70 miles per hour by a testing driver.  We came practically to a dead stop when they hit us.  Only the passenger in the back seat saw us as she too was leaning forward looking down and glanced up at the last Millie-second.  She was the only one who saw me, as we both looked at each other dead in the eyes, before she became unconscious.  She is yet in a coma as of October 16th 2015.  The passenger was killed and the driver is recouping with no memory of the past 2 years. All three kids were troubled youth.... and all under insured. 

We had our seat belts on and our airbags went off. The impact pushed us back.    Thank god we had no horse trailer and that we were driving the Avalanche which had a heavy duty 8.1 liter engine which saved our brains and bodies.  We did however sustain serious and career changing injuries.

I had my eyes wide open and saw every detail of the crash. (a blessing and a curse with a photographic memory)  When they hit us, everything when bang and it was over.  Air bags went down and I turned to Don and said " I'm ok how about you?"  he said he was OK but his legs were stuck. 


I then smelt smoke and knew,  where there is smoke, there was fire. And FIRE stared in the engine.  I could not get out of my door, so I jumped in the back seat and got out.  I dashed around to Don's side and tried opening his door.  It was when I realized I had a broken wrist.  A good Samaritan came running up as I shouted "dial 911".  He said he did.  I told him I had a broken wrist and need to get Don out!  He alone could not and I looked around and saw another good Samaritan.  I shouted "help him get my husband out of the car".  He said the car was on fire.  I shouted.  "I DON'T GIVE A F****.  GET HIM OUT NOW!

By this time the fire was the size of wash tub.  Don was struggling to pull himself out, but was stuck.  Each man was pulling with all all they had, pulling under his arm pits.  They shouted "his legs are stuck"  "We can not get him out".  I shouted back  "I DON'T GIVE A F***!    I DON'T CARE IS HIS LEGS ARE PULLED OFF.  GET HIM OUT!  PULL!!!!
(I knew that I could tunicate his legs and he may have a chance of life,  but he would have NO chance if he got burned to death).  Don then popped loose just as a third man came and carried his lower legs and they carried him to the side of the road.  Another good Samaritan came up and she asked how to help.  I sent her to get blankets to cover him.  I told Don that he had a fractured femur on one one leg and on the other a compound fracture of the fibula going through the ankle and a possible fractured pelvis, and NOT to move as one nick of that femoral artery will cause him to bleed out. 

I told him that he may go into shock, and he may die.  But I'd be with him, I would never leave.  He stayed still as I looked up in horror to see the entire engine now being consumed in flames...

I knew that if that fire was not put out the car would explode, and we were too close.  I would be blown back,  but don would have no chance as the heat would not allow anyone to get close to him.  I looked about and saw a white van truck, with blue water waves on the side... it was WATER!  I shouted put the fire out.  Two men in blue shirts jumped out with a small hose and ran up with a high pressure sprayer and put the fire out!!!!!  Below you can see the blue shirt water man to the right.  The lady to the left got the blankets, the other three men that got don out are working on the other car.  More people arrived on the scene.

By the earlier photo's you can see that the pick up had caught fire. Don said to take photo's and get his wallet.  I got that plus my shoes and our phones.  I took these, on the scene photo's,  and I began calling our network of friends to find the best orthopedic surgeon in the state of MN, as that was where I was going to have Don taken.  With this information, we waited for our turn be be hauled off.  I accompanied Don in the ambulance.  He was taken to a local place to be stabilized (his leg in traction to avoid the deathly cut of the femoral artery). 


So what about me?  I knew we had limited funds.  As all resources needed to go toward Don.  At the first staging hospital I had them pull and X-ray ($61.00).  They did not have a "radiologist" there to read it... OMG.. So I did.  I saw that I had a fractured radius.  I did a field dressing, with plans to set it myself when I got home.  I then accompanied Don to Regions hospital.
After the second transfer to Regions hospital in St. Paul MN, a 1+ hour drive by ambulance.  Don was X-rayed and prepped for surgery.


They put a rod in his femur and tucked back in the bone on the other leg.  That foot will have to wait for another surgery as they needed to re-establish blood supply. 

The heal (calcaneus) on his right foot was broken into 4 graduating pieces, and by the x-ray you can see it is nearly flat with the tarsals.  This will be re-constructed later.

While at Regions Hospital, in Don's emergency room a Dr. examined my body and had more x-rays taken.  I had a chip on my ulna, as well as the radius fracture,  a very bruised sternum, two badly bruised knees and a broken rib (no big deal as I have had 5 at once when out riding horse, thus my motto, "RIDE with a BUDDY!"  as it was a long walk back to camp).  Regions Hospital set me up for a cast setting a week later and after a week with my soft self-made brace,  I took them up on their offer as they said one bump and the head of my radius would pop off.

My home made soft cast until the other cast a week later.

Hematoma's under the knee and on the top of the fibula and tibia under the perineum of the bone, which makes kneeling impossible.  6 months to a year to clear according to the doctors.  I sure hope so, I have a horse to break out and God willing two new foals.

Don was released after a week to wait for his next and final surgery (at this time in his life, as more maybe required).  He stayed at a family friends home that is completely handy cap accessible.  It was here that our youngest daughter Sonia changed her life as well.  She reduced her college and work schedule to be Don's 5 day a week, full time care giver.


Every Morning I took a HOT bath and did massage and energy work on my body, or used a heating pad.  After a day my knees swell horribly and so I ice at night.  I eat light and healthy foods.  NOTHING PROCESSED!  I had and have not taken at any time any medication, not even an aspirin as pain is good.  It limits my activities.

You can see the swelling.

Don with the one leg now unwrapped.  Still waiting for the green light for the re-construction surgery on his other leg

My cast off.  swelling still an issue as you can see on my left wrist as compared to the right.  Again heat, massage and ice.  Do I have pain...  *** yes.  I seem to have more than Don.  As we spoke of the accident, he said he broke where I got slammed.

The compound fracture and circulation is OK!  He will have his Hobbit foot re-made to become functional.

Don going to sleep for the next surgery.


Don's new heal

Don back at his second home where his toes must be above his nose.  He sees Dr's every other day.  He has yet to clear massive blood clots in the femur rod leg.


Don as started physical therapy on his one, sort of good leg.  He must stand on the rod leg for two minutes 4 x a day.


Heaven, a mountain top in Custer, SD

During the time Don was healing I was able return to Custer to wrap up our year end season.  We got a lot done and I realized that what we are creating is a destination retreat for health and healing.  We are so very blessed and can not thank all of those who came to our aid and for those living angles who were there to help us.  Not to mention the cards, letters, gifts and most of all prayers that came from friends, family and complete strangers. We both realized how very lucky we are and that we will embrace each new challenge that comes our way.  It is a personal journey for all of us and what I have said time and time again still holds true;  Never go to bed angry; Always tell the ones you love - that you love them, for it maybe that last time you will have the chance, WITH the addition of;   When driving,... drive with diligence!

I was also able to make a hiking quest to a mountain top called Heaven, where I was able to scatter the ashes of my dearest and closest friend.  I know in my heart it was she and other spirits past, that guided me in my time of need.  AND YES folks, there is a GOD and yes, his son Jesus was offered up to teach us all his words. 

They can not remove the stitches as planned and Don had wait an additional 3 weeks as the wound was not healing due to the blood thinners.  They relived pressure by removing 30 cc of blood that was in his ankle.


At Last!!  Stitches out!  He must remain with his leg elevated.  AND NO pressure for 10 weeks.  Maybe by December 2015 he will be able to start therapy. 

Cathy starting under saddle Larissa, age 3. A beautiful kind hearted Peruvian filly.  She is amazing and trusts so wonderfully.  She is a keeper for sure.

The summer kitchen with 1800's church doors is complete!

Don arrived shortly after Cathy with a load of floor joist for the Studio. Don and Cathy got the sill plate on and Don and a friend put all those Joyce up!

Above this floor will be a monitor type barn which will be a dance/entertainment room.  We are calling this space the Studio.

The outside dining is complete.

Our Custer Cutoff Riding Retreat is making great strides. 

Cathy working on the Sauna

The next chapter in our lives.

After starting our business in 1996 and dedicating ourselves to providing only the best for horse and rider with proven products,  a new direction is needed.

 Our children are now adults.  They are loyal, happy, independent and trust worthy.  This leaves me with decades of work and inventory, but no additional time to breed, raise and train my horses.  I need to down size, become streamlined with a manageable workload.  It is now Don and myself with a couple of people that I outsource work to.   

Therefore  A NEW MARKETING direction is needed.  To best serve my customers I am streamlining my business, making an easy load for a 60 year old woman to handle.  As the saddles started my business, they will once again be my primary focus.
I will be getting back to our roots; I will sell items that we have developed and manufacture ourselves. It will be seasonal.  I will be providing product based on a market driven need and priced accordingly.  I will be sewing/manufacturing saddles in Minnesota during the winter season and riding, training and living with my horses for 8 months in the hills of South Dakota.  During that time we will be able to fill orders, but I will not be available for custom projects.  

This process has already started as those of you who have been loyal "Catabook" readers have noticed.  Gone are the Catabooks and many on-line pages.  This chapter is coming to an end and a new one beginning. 

Life is a glorious journey.  Just like a great book, I look forward to each new chapter.

Our 2015 work crew for Minnesota Expo.  From left to right:  Cathy, Don, Rhea, Pepper, Gary, Sonia and Chuck.


Rhea riding Cita on the Halloween ride in NE.

October and wrapping up Teddy's 3rd year.  He now has the winter off.  Next year we will work on packing, rain coats, cantering with leads, poneying off of and opening and closing gates with tangling stuff in legs.  Taking the time in proper training allows a horse to grow mentally and physically.  (A horse is not physically mature until the age of 5 -FACT.  Much like a human at 24 years).  Taking the required time in training will deliver a quality horse that will last a lifetime.

Teddy is under saddle at 3 years.  I do not work on gait until late fall or when they are 4 years.  It takes a lot of strength for a young one to gait and have that muscle memory.  He is gaiting wonderfully here and I'm sitting back, making him reach with his rear end.  He gaits like a metronome.  Wonderful gait.  I still have the pull sting on his halter bridle so I can remind him to ease up or in a pinch pull him around.  I use a hack, keeping his head and neck soft and his mouth completely untouched.  If he ever needs to move to a bit, he will be very soft and supple.  Next year we will work on gaiting at speed, cantering and leads, packing, and ponying.  The year after,  riding double. (but to wrap up this year will be large floppy rain coats for me to put on and dragging branches and crap from the saddle.  Still a little skittery on that stuff). I LOVE HIM to pieces. 

Larissa a 2 year old is being ponied by Rhea, Larissa will be started next year under saddle.  Don is ponieing Issie who is a yearling.  Both are getting use to road traffic.

Larissa a 2 year old is being ponied by Rhea, Larissa will be started next year under saddle.  Don is ponieing Issie who is a yearling. Both are doing the yearly overnight camping thing in the fall so they will be use to being blanketed on the picket line.  They did great.  We even rode with out one, and each stayed alone on the picket line.  Tie them short, high and without feed bag. (nothing to get tangled in) .

After: Verbal training while leading (walk-on, whoa, whoa-stand etc. verbal cues), desensitizing with dangling ropes (tangling in legs),  tack training (with crupper and breast collar), poneying on trail and camping overnight on high line etc., bag training, It is time for ground driving. 

Learning direct reining and reviewing the commands:  Walk-on and Whoa.  Notice NO bit in the mouth.  This is all done either with a training bridle, rope halter or halter.

This is the second day with Teddy and myself.  The first day I had a helper lead him while I used verbal commands, followed by direct contact.  When training you must always, end on a positive note, and start the next days training with a short review of the day before. (pick up where you left off).  Never need to have training like this for longer than 30 minutes  Next will be me on him bare back, reviewing the cues with a training halter and reins, with a helper walking along side holding a lead rope on a rope halter. 

Teddy Training.  We have him use to a saddle, but now the plastic bags.  We start with a seasoned horse (horses learn more from other horses than us),  and bag her all out.  Then we do Teddy, with slow and praising progress with a bit of sweet feed as each bag is attached.

Teddy will stand here for an hour or so with the wind blowing.  The following day we bag him up alone, with no issues, and then we lounge him.  Again no issues.  After this point no additional bag training is required.  Now to move on to ground driving.

First Stop...Lusk Creek.
With my friend Annie, we traveled south to see the infamous Mountain Laurel bloom in TN.  On our way we swung into see my dear friend MaryAnn and her hubby Rick.  They hosted us and were our tour guides in So. Ill.  As we rode Lusk Creek, I particularly loved the sign from this generous land owner.  Wish more were like him!

MaryAnn took us to various destinations, where we tied up the horses and hiked to see the wonders that the Shawnee had to offer.  We tested our host with her bad knees.  THANK YOU MaryAnn!

Rick took us to further destinations where horses were unable to travel. He and that feisty Annie were always ready to go!

Cyprus Forests in Illinois?   Yes,  there are several parks we visited with real swamps and Cypress trees.  The state honors these old trees by calling them Champions - shown in photo.  We were only able to get this close too as the path was under water.  You do not walk in water  as there are cotton mouth snakes! (yes.. we saw one!)

Here I am, Cathy, in front of a Champion Cheery Bark Tree,  century's old.  What a thrill.
Thank you Rick and MaryAnn and your pals for hosting us... so much we saw and only a fraction is shown here.  You all are the best.

Take a close look.  This is Mountain Laurel.  We are in hot pursuit of it. Location:  The Big South Fork, TN (Jamestown is the place)

While in TN, we were joined by our other Wisconsin friends, Keith and Mia.  Our host is Pam, there in the middle, Keith on one end, I on the other.  While in pursuit of the Mountain Laurel, we danced upon natural rock bridges

We discovered cool caves, high ledges and water falls.

We rode to Hostels and the Little Grand Canyon where....

At last we found it....  Mountain Laurel and some other species as well, such as this lovely ornamental Magnolia.

Here Annie and I (Cathy) are with our Mountain Laurel.  Thank you Pam (and her pals) for hosting us and hauling us EVERYWHERE!  and, as usual, meeting up with Keith and Mia.  Fabulous Time.

The sand pit.  The herd loves to sleep over night in it.  It holds the days warmth and with no dew.  A lovely May Morning.

Team Tauer and the MN horse expo.  With the regional manager for Segway!  From left to right:  Slammer, Kelly, Cathy, Sonia, Don and Rhea

Rhea, at the Minnesota 2014 horse expo introducing the Segway

Rhea on Cita,  Bareback,  conditioning herself and her horse.

Don riding Lucy.  His first ride for the year, Easter Sunday.  For conditioning, we walk for one mile.  On mile 2, we gait or trot with a walk cooling leading into...  Mile 3, which is a canter / extended trot or gait moving into the last mile with a cool down walk home.  We will do this as often as possible (twice every week for sure) and extending it to 6 miles with the additional two miles, gaiting or trotting at various speeds.  We try to always ride bare back it as we need our legs conditioned as well. 

Cathy on Joya,  bareback, conditioning both herself and the horse for the season.  Out in our flat farm country, we have sections of land one mile square.  So we ride these gravel roads.  In preparation for our riding season and our over the road travels to riding destinations.

10 inches on April 3rd.  One good thing... it will melt soon as May flowers need to arrive along with our riding season!

2014  chores at 8 am.  Looks like this is going to be one of the 8 month Minnesota  winters.  You can be sure if you want any tack... you better order before spring, cause when the snow is gone in May, I'm on the trail RIDING!

Starting Teddy.  A two year old, who will be ridden at three.  A great ride.




A Halloween ride.  Turkey Creek Ranch, Nebraska.  Thank you!


Rhea on her horse Cita.

Cathy ponying Teddy a two year old, getting exposure to spooky stuff.


Riding in Missouri.  Great fun - thank you Ruth.


The roof is on our picnic pavilion!  Our Custer Cutoff retreat is taking shape.

Cathy and Don working on the picnic pavilion at their summer riding retreat in Custer SD.

Cathy and Don were so honored to be invited to have a personal showing and ride the Big South Fork recreational area.  You can be assured we will be back!  THANK YOU PAM!!  We had a blast!

Cathy learning about Gaucho Saddles while visiting Uruguay.  She has since modified the Liberty model to allow some of the rider comforts that the Gaucho Saddle is known for.  

Don ponying Teddy - a yearling.  From a foals birth year until they are fully trained they all will go on overnight camping trips once a year. Sonia- in the middle,  is riding her seasoned horse, Joya and is the out-rider.  Cathy is on Bella, a three year old, who is halfway through her training. 

above with a 2-horse trailer
Styling in the new RV.  Wa-Hoo.
Below with a 4 horse trailer

This sweet ride can pull both our trailers.  A bit tricky getting electric breaks to work on the RV's air brake system tho.

Now that the girls are grown and gone.  MORE TIME TO RIDE! To far off places for longer stays.

Even with good deals,  still means to budget for repairs!  Tires -Yikes!

Here is the NEW GAL.  A 2000 Tiffin Allegro Bay 300 HP Diesel pusher.  This unit - that I bought on E-Bay is 37 feet (7 feet longer than the Lolli Pop),  super clean and totally loaded.  I figure, if Sarah Palin can sell a jet on Ebay, I can buy an RV.  So with the air line ticked to go pick it up in California, and  no reserve (a forced bank sale - repro-deal), and thanks to an odd Ebay glitch with last minute bidders, We purchased this unit for less than 26 thousand dollars.  Less than the cost of a good used pick up truck.  With just a few minor fixes, I'm good to go, however,  I'm going to have to get use to being 59 feet long with the 4 horse!

This RV gives us the extra room needed for our aging and less flexible bodies.

Yeow-zers!  The RV front window from our last trip popped out on the upper top corner on the drivers side.  Another repair - this time the H gasket.

Retiring the 1983 Pace Arrow?     Besides the fact that for past 18 years and with 4 new roof coverings the bathroom skylight still leaks,  the past 5 years the ceiling over the stove that has the microwave mounted on,  has been collapsing - which I have held up with a board wedged between the counter top and  the bottom of the microwave, but now the counter is collapsing.  Just in past 3 years the outside wall behind the refrigerator and stove is beginning to bow out  - an inch so far and this is more than likely due to the roof collapsing.  For the past 16 years none of the following gauges worked:  The LP and the Fuel (both thanks),  Gray and black water tanks, Battery strength and fresh water tank.  Never has the horn worked (and boy could I have used it at times!), nor has the coach had air conditioning, and the fan for the vent/heat may or may not work - depending on vacuum pressure.  All of which I can live with or without - however you look at it.  However...  on the last trip alone 7/30/2012.
The fuel switch for the fuel tanks quit working (2nd time) - ran out of fuel 90 miles from home, with 30 gallons of fuel in the spare tank that I could not get too.  The cooling line for the transmission cracked and needed re-flanging.  The alternator went out for the second time, but had a spare in the RV - (we have seconds of everything- so no big deal).  Discovered the LP leak in the regulator on the main tank, which needs work and gaskets (this is separate from the heating unit inside the RV which too leaks, (I have a manual turn on for that line and that has been that way since the beginning).  But the kicker is the windshield - again,  that for the second time is popping out.  This time in the upper corner of the drivers side (lovely having rain come in and howling wind for 10 hours on the road).  So based on these events, combined with the RV,  having over 141,000,000 hard pulling miles and that for the summers is was the Tauer home of raising a family of three girls to adulthood, combined with starting over a dozen horses for the trail - it may be a good time to retire the ol' gal to a softer life of less road miles.  I'm going to start to look for a newer - yet used, RV. 

Enjoyed a month in Custer SD.  Were able to get more done other than riding every day.  Got to explore and find new adventures.  We hiked to a place called "the hippy hole" by locals and jumped off a 35 foot cliff into the cool waters below.  Then climbed our way out out of that pool using nothing but a large rope with knots.  THANK GOD I have good arms from horse handling or I'd still be in that pool of water!  My legs hurt for days after as we had to hike - climb up and down to get there.  I defiantly have horse riding legs NOT rock climbing legs. 


Don and Cathy starting Bella a three year old.

The next generation takes to horse camping in the Hill View Farms trilogy. Rhea has graduated from College and helps us out here at  Hill View Farms, when she is not working as a full time rep for F and M.

Rhea with her new (used) RV!  Thank you Eleanor Mondale - my beloved friend who last her battle with cancer- we reminisce of our adventures past in "The Lindy".

First time in history - Gouldings Camp ground in the heart of Monument Valley, UT,  host the Bill Porter TV shows crew.


Don and Cathy ride with wonderful people of the Navaho nation.  Monument Valley -UT


Driving bucking stock with the Holloway Rodeo Clan -  SD


Riding cross country,  the way they drove stock 100 years ago.


What excitement - what an adventure - what memories


From Eagle Butte to Timber Lake, SD.


HEY not Cathy this time that is broken down on the side of the road, cause she gets to 
haul the Brenderup!  YA HOOO!

Sonia models:  Showing the training halter bridle on Sita - who does not like tulips to eat.

Trip to see Friends (new and old) and Colina - Agua Dulse, CA "The rock"

4th of July celebration with friends and family.  Rhea made it to Custer -SD

Starting off the riding season with a blown transmission hose. THANK GOD for US RIDER! They arranged everything and I was back on my way to a weekend of horse camping.

Here are my horses.  I was fully loaded with 4 head and by my self on the road when the hose split (a new one at that).  We blocked and unhooked the trailer, pulled the RV forward and the tow truck moved in.  US RIDER to the rescue - yet again!

The Minnesota Horse Expo 2010:  The outstanding team of professionals who are always willing to help you with all your equestrian needs.  Thank you (from top left to right) Brenda and Mike Huhta, David Honeman II, Don Tauer, Sonia Tauer, Rhea Tauer.  (bottom row - left to right)  Laura Dobe, Pepper Wolf, Ruth Thompson, Cathy Tauer, Sonia Tauer and Annie Felix. (missing - Harley Madden)

Remember what I have told and repeated over and OVER.  When a horse is in panic, DO NOT grab for the halter to un-snap, but grab for the PANIC release snap that is AWAY from the horses head.  The worse you will receive from that snap is a bruise on your knuckle when the snap flies open.  Here - my husband - Don, who did not heed  my words of wisdom, now pays the price, due to a broken snap that laced open his finger.  This could have been much worse.  So, I got my tools out and proceeded to sew him up.

After the lidocane, comes the stitches.

After the stitches comes the relief and shared stories of  past injuries.

Two days later.  Not bad for field doctoring using heavy livestock sutichers.

Follow your dreams and live your life's adventure!

Cathy doing a film shoot for the Bill Porter TV show.

Hill View Farms and Bill Porter team up to present our Wild America by horse back.

To watch Bill Porters Adventures and live your dream visit Bill on line at www.wildlifevideo.com

Join US and Live The Adventure!

Well the big ship lollipop needs yet another tow into the shop... seems like the drive shaft that runs into the transmission needs work.  Ahh the life of RV ownership.  The one rule of thumb is; one must be good with tools.  And YES  horse camping is all worth it!


Well the Ol' gal (big ship lollipop - 1983 Pace Arrow RV) gave up her transmission after 135 thousand original hard pulling miles.  This was the last thing that was still original.   You can see that nasty crack in the transmission housing. Now on to 200,000 miles with her great new engine from last year and her new transmission.  As long was we keep the roof from imploding we will be in good shape! 


Soina joined us in the Montana Mountains - Bob Marshal. 

Packing out of the Bob Marshal after 4 days of riding and trout fishing.  This time we had two pack horses for just our stuff.

What an honor to serve the Upper Midwest Trail Gaiters club with my home grown - two legs of lamb, grilled on my good Old' Webber grill.  The date is  - June 10th in southeastern MN, notice that I still have to ware a hat and jacket! Perfect riding weather - with no bugs!  Thanks for the fun you all.

Bella's first ponied experience - 4 miles around the section.

We refresh the lesson from last year of ponying our 2 year olds (Sita and Hernando). The next time it will be with a saddle on.

Rhea lawn grazing with her blue-eyed Peruvian Horse, Sita. 

Tony Lama baby sitting Bella.

Forbidden Love.

Tony getting his summer shave

Tony all done with his hair cut. (you need sheep sheers to do this job)

Our 2009 selling crew of saddling and equestrian specialists, from left to right:  Annie, Sonia, Rhea, Patti, Cathy, Laura, Susan, Pepper and Don. Missing are Kelly and Harley.

2009 crop: A fresh one! just 8 minutes old -a SWEET filly and a keeper. "Bella"

What an opportunity.  Cathy got invited to visit one of Hill View Farms foals - Colina, and ride "The Rocks" Vasquez Rocks County Park, Agua Dulce, CA

On their way horse camping Ronda and Cathy got side tracked.  Wanting blueberries - in a bad way –but knowing that Cathy's rig was too big to take up to the berry farm, they simply pulled over, unloaded the horses and rode round trip 6 miles to pick 7 quarts of the most scrumptious Blueberries, which Cathy proudly toted back using the ever useful Garment bag.  What a super adventure to do on horseback - using smooth gaited Peruvian horses.

Don and Cathy with trusted friends crossed the Montana wilderness.  All the equipment that was designed was outstanding and performed to perfection. All their equipment was designed for this kind of riding and it performed to perfection. For more on this adventure  click


Cathy is testing Hill View Farms New Pack Saddle Assembly and also training Charlie to carry the load.  When the saddle completes the 4-day - 90 mile trek across the Bob Marshall/Scape Goat wilderness area it will be ready to market for sale or lease

Tractor training - Umbrella training.

The Tauer girls are all young women.  They are strong, savvy and can ride like the wind.  As parents Don and Cathy could not be prouder that each one is finding their own path in life.  The eldest Rhea is now a sophomore in College, Kelly a senior in high school and Sonia is a sophomore.

Don and Cathy are training two of their 4 three-year-olds for trail riding.  They have a big trip planned and the horses must be solid.  When encountering anything scary, Cathy allows the horses to eat grass by scary things and then touch it with their noses.  This is a very quick and effective way of introducing them to scary things and teaches them to stay straight - facing fear and not spinning away when spooked.

Well the 1983 Pace Arrow, aka "the big ship loli-pop" aka Cathy's Castle, with 116 thousand miles on the 454 engine gave up the ghost, and had to get overhauled.  Now with two new heads, manifolds and all the fixings, the Ol' girl just purrs as Cathy is good for another 100 plus thousand miles.

The big ship lolli pop or as my friend gave me... she says Cathy's Castle.

Well... Don went off the deep end. 
 He got himself a Llama.  He was sad looking and so we decided to give him a try, as the price was an adoption.  His name is now Tony... Yes... Tony Llama.... Don thinks that is just too funny....
Don sings to him and Tony really likes it.  It really is too hilarious - as some of the music lines include "if you kick, I remind you that I've eaten Llama before".  Tony stayed in town at the shop until he got use to us and then out to the farm. The The photos are of Tony is getting his first haircut.  Tony is 3 years old or so.  He does not kick or spit, he is a sweet Llama.  And at 250 pounds, Don is quite pleased and comments on how handsome he looks and his nice body structure - strong muscular hams.
Tony's new job will be the pack animal for us when riding, as Don is planning a 4 to 5 day overnight camping trip - crossing some range in the Bob marshal wildness area
of Montana this summer.  So guess what will be hitting the trails with us this spring?....  (actually not as llamas walk slow, carry a light load and scare the crap out of horses). Later this month when the barn addition is done, Tony will go out to the farm so he and the horses can get to know one another, as first introductions should not be as you are heading out camping. (after which this introduction took all summer as one of our herd horses still can't deal with Tony... poor Tony... has only a face that a mother could love.  Too bad as he really THINKS he is a horse)
As we are new to llamas we have much to learn.  But as of now Tony already has a new halter, made by Tauer manufacturing, which by the way Don has become an awesome saddle builder and new business owner.  He got a huge write up - front-page news in our local paper - HA.   
Well, nothing surprises me... as we just laugh.   As Don now says...."life is too short not to have a llama".  Who knows what is next?
For exactly one year, Pequena was dealing with interment lameness.  I knew it was from a kick and the cannon bone had remolded very close to the deep flexor tendon.  This was a bad spot on a hind leg, close to the fetlock.   I knew surgery in that spot was iffy at best as chiseling away a bone spur could come back horribly, worse than it was now, as bone reacts that way. Time heals so I waited hoping that this bump would absorb some and she would be sound.   I kept her feet trimmed for a fast break over and stood her up more (less flex on the tendon).  I kept her on as solid ground as I could. Keeping her on concrete where she would never have uneven earth to flex her foot was not an option. Well enough was enough, she could not be any lamer than she was. I had come to terms that if this surgery did not work, well.. three legged horses do not do so well.   Dr. Kiddelson too was stumped on how can something so tiny as this  bump cause such great lameness. She puzzled that just maybe it was the very tip of splint bone pressing on the nerve when the flexor pulled over it.  If so,  that worthless piece of crap bone could be nipped out with NO ill effects.  We cross our fingers and Dr. Shirley went in and out came the naughty culprit. One inch of shin splint bone was removed. The very tip of the shin splint was damaged from that kick and grew slightly curved pressing on the nerve.  Yahoo! An easy fix.  Dr. Shirley yet again came to the aid of my horses.  How blessed we all are to have such  wonderful passionate horse vets who give so much to help our loved ones.  THANK YOU Dr. Kiddleson for giving so much..  I truly love you.

Our new 6,000 plus square foot building facility that will house:  an expanded retail store, a huge show room for the Brenderup Horse trailers, a manufacturing/assembly room where saddles and tack will be made, an enormous amount of storage space for inventory with a shipping and receiving area. A state-of-the-art fitting room for horses with stalls and flooring.  An outdoor wash station for trailers and horses and a 60 x 60 riding arena.


Cathy and Susan love to ride.  So off they went to a bar and grill for lunch. These two ladies rode hard over 30 miles round trip into Deadwood SD. 


After a tour we purchased 6 bottles of award winning wines to share with friends back home.  Colina the Peruvian, carried all the cargo home safely!  What a great ride.

Nothing is better than riding to a destination.  Shown here are two of my dear pals (El and Susan), and myself ponying a young horse as part of his training.  We rode 14 miles-one way- to a winery, that offered luxury horse accommodations.

Sonia assists Princess in bringing Hernando into the world. 

A new use for the picket pole.  When you get over 100,000 miles on an RV that is designed for smooth road riding and not back country horse camps with all the bumps and uneven terrain things shift; as my windshield did.  It fell / blew in 3 inches while going down the freeway.  So I used a picket pole for a makeshift a brace so that I could continue on until I got home to get it fixed.  When horse camping you can always count on the unexpected.

Rhea and Cathy riding to castles in Southern France.

As teenagers, Kelly and Sonia, work on perfecting their horse tricks using Colina.

A new birth - a colt that Don named Pizarro - named after the man who conquered Peru.

Below Cathy is taking Arenosa and Pizarro out for a walk.  Cathy hops on horses just as she is... in a dress or not!  The kid inside lives on!


For you horse owners who haul horses, take heed.  Yes you have a good strong hitch and a ball for pulling.  You may even have sway bars.  You may even go further and have a special hitch made so that it is welded in 7 areas onto your vehicle included directly to the frame itself.

Above you can see the areas of our custom hitch that was made to pull 12,000 lbs of horse flesh, feed and tack.

For two years a mystery crack appeared in the bathroom, the vanity was pulling away from the wall - each year a bit more.  Don said it is just an RV thing and that the RV was just rattling apart.  10,000 miles a year does that, ya know.
When backing up to our fuel barrel the rusty tail pipe of the generator caught the bottom branch of evergreen tree and broke off.  So when Don was under the RV replacing the tail pipe he saw this!!

In the yellow circle the frame is cracked and pulling apart, about broken through.  Blue arrow points to the black water tank.  Pink arrows, the monster frame of hitch.  Green arrow where we are replacing the muffler on the generator.

Crack on other side, 1-inch from breaking free!

So PLEASE everyone.  CHECK your ball, hitch and what it is attached to!!  I have since received an email from a dear friend whose friends husband died from following a trailer that came free from the vehicle and was killed as the trailer came through his windshield.

YES the whole backend (bathroom, bedroom, back water tank, shower, cloths) were ONE inch from pulling apart - scattering all over the road.  So that is how strong a BUS frame is on an RV.  We have since trussed out and rebuild the frame one third the entire length of the RV. 

Kelly carried a 5 # puff ball mushroom back 3 miles on Henry.  It was good.

Colina map reading - actually she thinks she can eat it.

Yes, horses do like going over bridges that are covered!

Our foal crop is now 5-6 months old and time for them to learn how to be ponied, as well as see the out-side world.  We do this by riding their mothers - ponying the babies along. 
So Cathy, Rhea, Kelly and Sonia (the Tauer women), are riding some of our best mares - who have not been ridden since last year!  They did great!  We rode 4 miles, past cattle, dogs, round bales  and when cars passed, the foals just stood there. Before ponying any foal, make sure they already know how to stand tied and lead.

When ponying, you need to make sure you have an out-rider (Don in this case) on a good horse that can push, pull and pony.  We also shout out verbal cues.  Such as: Whoa (and we all stop), Walk-on (we all move forward) and lastly Paca-Paca (and we all gait).  These verbal cues teach the babies and thus future training will continue - building off of these same verbal cues.

Wash time.  After the foals have been out for a walk with their moms and are hot and tired, we line them all up.  Putting two babies together in-between their moms.  That way when the foal moves it will either move into its own mom or sibling, neither of which will kick or upset them.


I start with spraying the mares and move to the foal, beginning with the legs first.  I brush and spray at the same time.  They know brushings and love it.  Now they will make the water association and accept that too.


I move up with the spray and brushing.  If the foal gets up-set I stop with the misting and continue with the brushing while offering encouraging words.  I then will start back by spraying their dam next to them - spraying the feet / legs at which time I move back over to foal.  When the foal is still and accepting I stop spraying and brush and love them up and move on to the next horse.

I finish up with full body spray for all and for those who really loved it, a mouth and chest misting.

Here I am with two of the girls going out- prepared for buggy conditions to pony one of our 2-year olds.  We pony them during the age of two over bridges, through water, down roads with traffic, up and down hills, through mud and over logs.  They spend a long weekend on the picket line learning about blankets, feed bags and working a rope and staying back alone.

Umbrella training.  I water the horses on the line holding my umbrella.  They sniff it and me, then after they realize it won't eat them or they can't eat it, and that it hasn't eaten me, they relax and drink.

After they drink, I will close and pop open the umbrella - several times- standing away so they can see just how that umbrellas suddenly appears.  This way the know that there is a human under that thing.  (yes, that is me in those LOUD riding pants.  Don says I embarrass him in every state we travel to.  Hey, I look at it this way, I'm so loud that no bogie monster is going to bother me!)

What are the odds? Within a year and a half, the fan has blown off the engine and gone through the radiator - twice. Oh well.  "shit happens"...  Nothing like being over 90 miles from home, with 2 girls and 3 horses. Just makes for another campfire story! And remember if you decide to get an RV, the question you need to ask yourself is, are you good with tools? Why? Because you will be shaking your house down the road.

Some parks they have their own cable hi-lines.  I find that in many cases the lines are too high for me to reach.  So I use the Horse Positioner  with a ring, making one loop over the cable thus lowering it,  allowing me to reach up and hang the hay bag.  However I DO NOT use the cable for picketing my horse.  The cable does not give and does not allow for any play that is needed for our horses’ comfort.  Using the poles provided, I run my own picket line rope as you can see in the photo.

During spring riding when the lilacs are in bloom, we hunt for Morrel mushrooms from horse back.  These mushrooms are delicious sautéed in butter with garlic.  We serve them with steak, on hamburgers or any red meat. 

Got to travel to Long Island, NY to visit a friend who lives in Hampton.
What a fancy facility and a wonderful opportunity to fit saddles.

Look how big this Hanoverian is.  I'm 5.6

a fancy barn indeed. 

Our whole family then got to reciprocate our friendship with El who became a life time friend of the Tauers.  Just look at how big that Hanoverian "Elliot" is compared to horses 15 and 14.3.  One saddle can fit them all.

After a long ride the horses go flat. Resting up for the next whirlwind ride. We unhook them from their leads and they just seem to stay put.  But we always have a one horse on the line.  The others will not leave their "leader" behind. 

Here is why I like the "sleeping halters" with the safety snap. When the horses sack out for the night, sometimes they do not lie down just where their head can rest on the ground, so with the wider straps of the halter their head is gently cradled.

Henry takes advantage of his down time. He seems to know that he better rest when he can, because a 20 plus mile ride - at a fast clip - is just ahead.

Bringing two herds together: When the youngest foal is about 3 weeks old we start to integrate the mare herd with the main herd.  We take the youngest of our stock, in this case our 2-two year olds and put them in the "Mares" pasture.  They literally get an ass chewing, but all is well and we have plenty of hay put out in piles. We do this for just the one day and move to the next step.

The next step to mixing the new herd is to take the mares to the main pasture/paddock.  We take out all of the older horses out except one, the top gelding (or mare).   So now we have the 2-two year olds - who have been educated as to how things will operate, and the heard leader all together in the main pasture/paddock. Other than a squeal or two between the top gelding/mare from the old herd and top mare from the temporary mare herd. The mares and babies are comfortable with their new surroundings.  This new situation  is for two - three days and then we move to the next step.

Across the fence from the main paddock is the remainder of the herd looking in. They can stiff the mares and babies when they come close to the fence for a visit.  These remaining horses are without their herd leader and are very well behaved, looking in from the outside - wanting to belong.

The last day in the week of mixing is uniting all of the horses.  By this time, they are all very happy to be together and things are wonderful.  They are all so happy to be together in one big family.

At night the mares and babies still come in for extra feed and time alone.  Later we will just bring the babies in alone for extra feed morning and night.

Only a face TWO mothers can love.

The last of 4 births for the 2005 year

I'm here! Naturally my name is Espara which means wait in Spanish, since I was 3 weeks over due!   And to keep the Hill View Farms tradition alive, I'm another filly.

Here is Espara just 3 days old.  As you can see we use very little bedding over the stall skins for the first few days.  Some people use straw avoiding the possibility that any sawdust could be inhaled by the newborn creating a health concern.  We have never had a problem managing our stalls this way.  For those foals that have pneumonia you can strip the stall skin clean and use it alone completely eliminating the bedding.  But this should only be for the the short term.  The stall skin needs to be covered and protected to ensure many, many years of service. 

When we bring in the horses for their spring vaccinations, we give them a good curry (brushing).  Just look at that pile of fur!  They had a positive experience and never object to getting shots.  Each time you handle a horse (even if it is just for maintenance you are training), you must ALWAYS end on a positive note.  Horses LOVE grooming and they will equate that with what ever you just did to them.

When the foals are about a month old we start halter training them.  We have their mom cross tied in the alleyway so they can see each other and the baby can be right next to her.  We start by first putting the halter on allowing them to toss their head around.  A day or two later we repeat that step, allowing them to remember.  Then we attach a lead rope to the halter and loop it around their butts.  The babies like to  back-up, pull and flip.  Do not pull against them for that will cause them to panic and pull harder. Go with them and have someone stand behind them or put their butt up against a wall.  Use that lead rope as a pull-a-long  and the halter as a pull-back.  You are the throttle and the rope is what you use to speed up and slow down your teaching to lead training.

Here you can see just how that butt rope is looped. We loop it around the butt just above the hocks pulling that baby along.  It takes no time at all and they are leading great.  This also costs you nothing in extra supplies. No fancy gimmicks, just good ol' common sense. (In this photo, Rhea is standing on the off side.  The rope arrangement is set up for leading on the near side*.  When changing sides-(another day of leading training) you will need to reverse your rope loop for leading from the off side*.)

* Near Side = side you mount up from.
* Off Side = side that you do not mount up from

We give vaccinations shots in early spring. We use only one type of combination  vaccine and that is EQ ( Eastern and  Western) combined with Tetanus.  All the others we give separately - alternating sides- to avoid possible adverse reactions.  We will wait a week before giving the additional injections necessary. Giving more than two shots all at one time or in the same location may result in terrible inflammation, temperature, swelling, drug reaction, and loss of your horse for several weeks (or a season), for they will not be able to walk, carry their head properly or flex.  Each year I receive (3-5) calls from frantic horse owners on what to do.  I can only advise as I have done here.  This is what works for us.


Within the first 1-12 hours after birth the foal will pass poop that is tar black in color.  This is called the meconium.  If they do not pass this, they are constipated.  Contact your veterinarian.  After this fecal passing,  the poop will turn into a color that we call Dijon mustard, - a yellowish color. 

Diarrhea can and does happen occasionally in foals.  It may only last a day or two, but if you have severe case of diarrhea a foal can quickly dehydrate.  So you have to plug them up.  4 oz of Pepto-Bismol twice a day. (2-days usually does the trick, but consult with your veterinarian.)

Diarrhea is like acid on a foals butt and their delicate vulva, and the manure will eat the skin and hair right off - raw.  So after a good bottom washing and a towel dry, apply a nice coat of Desitin diaper rash ointment.  No more problems and their butt stays silky smooth.

A day old.  Rhea is holding her boy.  At last after 7 fillies a BOY!  Don says; "He is broken, the pee just runs straight down!" 

After the delivery, we wait for the after birth to pass. During this time we use a latex glove and apply an tincture of iodine solution to the foals navel.  After the placenta passed, we lay it out, making sure it is all there. Look for the rupture spot.  If the placenta is not there or passed within the hour, you will need to contact your veterinarian for an oxytocin shot / & cleaning.  If a mare retains her placenta, she runs the risk founder among other issues.  The white mass to the left of the placenta is the embryonic sack. 

Here is Princess's tail braided up vs. wrapped to keep it clean as we await her baby. Don called the mares "hippos" when they look like this.

About a week - 10 days, after delivery mares go into what is called a foal heat.   (During this time foals may exhibit slight diarrhea - that is of no consequence.)  Many breeders will breed-back their mares at this time.  Since we are not "breeders" we do not do this and allow our mares a complete recovery.  Also our mares are some of our best riding horses and we USE them. So it is for both our benefits to stagger foalings.

As we clean stalls and add shavings we let the foals sniff the new thing.  Then we will move the bag around and bang on it.  As you can see, Malina - less than a week old, is tasting and kicking at the bag. This is initial plastic bag training.

Several days later we lay this empty plastic bag in the alleyway and as we pitch stalls the foals can walk on it and taste it.  When they are older and weaned we will expose them to this again.  We do not leave loose plastic unattended with foals.  They can and will consume a variety of things as they are tasting and exploring their environment.  Remember, horses are suicidal until they are 2 years of age.

Kisses and face rubs.  Even Don - who does not kiss babies, kissed and kisses this little filly! As Don said "She is so special." Even though this is the 6th filly in a row, (poor Don, he just wanted a boy...sometimes all that estrogen is too much)  he would not give-up this little girl, he is really in love with her.  Another keeper

This is new... Imagine my surprise when Don turned my 2-horse trailer into a chick trailer- home.  I do have to agree, it works great until they are big enough to join the flock.

Here is Pequena, now 2 years wearing the bare back pad for a half day.  Her sister - sniffing it, will ware this same pad for the other half of the day.  We do this just once, introducing them to something on their back and in the girth area.  Later in the year when they are 2.5 we will do this with a real saddle keeping them in a stall.  Then later again, ponying them on the trail.

Here she is, Malina at 2 days old who has the "itches".  She adores people.

2 days old! Look at the size of that filly! The mare is 15 hands. Don says that our mare had a yearling!  He had only one day to lift and carry this filly around, cause she was well over 100 lbs!

20 minutes old.  Notice that we wrap the mares tail to keep all that beautiful Peruvian tail hair clean during delivery.

10 minutes old and imprinting begins.

Here I am stall sitting. Just getting low and being there makes a huge difference.

Lucia out for a walk at 2 days old. She gaits!  Naturally.

Lucia giving kisses.

What we feed our pregnant mares: Daily allowance based on body weight of 1,100 lbs & adjust accordingly. During pregnancy until 90 days prior to foaling we feed a nice quality grass hay (13 lbs).  For the last 90 days we feed 6 lbs alfalfa and 3 lbs of hay with 2 lbs rolled corn and 3 lbs oats, (or use a mixed feed).  During lactation  we switch over to 20 lbs of alfalfa and 2 lbs of clean oats.  They have both a salt and mineral block available to them at all times and plenty of fresh clean water.  We vaccinate (tetanus, EQ etc) 3 weeks prior to delivery (alternating injection sites) and will worm the mares 2 weeks to 30-days after delivery. (That is also the time when foals like to eat/taste poop! -YUCK)

LuCia, See the C.  She is just one day old.

When to breed? We wait until our mares are 5 years old, (the average age a horse is physically mature) before we breed them.  If not, you will need to adjust  your feeding for not only a pregnant mare but for one that is still growing.


Kelly and Cathy riding in Peru.  These horses make us realize how lucky we are to have our horses back home.

When my "babies" turn 2 (beginning of the year,) I build on my "jumpy-jumpies".  That is while they are eating, I put pressure on their backs and jump up and down, where as earlier I would just jump up and down next to them. I followed that training session by setting my hands on their backs and repeated the process, doing each side. This lesson is broken down into 4 parts.

After the pressure of the "jumpy-jumpies". I now  apply slight weight by jumping up against them and sliding down.  I do this with each baby, each side.  This will be the extent of weight they will have on them until late fall when we will actually sit on them bare-back, sliding off each side and their rump. This fourth part of the lesson "jumpy-jumpies".  I always take small bite size lessons and always build on the prior lesson taught.  Always, ALWAYS, end on a positive note, even if you have to repeat an old lesson. And remember a horses attention span is about 30 minutes.  Do NOT burn them out.

As you can see, both Pequena and Solana could give a rip as to my "stupid" behavior.  They just keep on eating, like the eating machines that they are!  The next lesson will the the bare back pad treatment.  By this time, learned from their "taking walks" lessons,  they know how to lead-both sides, whoa,  back-up and whoa-stand. (Whoa-stand means they better not move a muscle! I give this command while I walk around their body and flip the lead rope over their head as I round their rear-end to the other side.) All these cues are verbal, which later we will combine with non-verbal.

Here is our official foaling stall isolated from the other stalls.  The windows are 6 feet high and have "hog panels" across them so that horses cannot break the glass with their noses.  As you can see, the walls are SOLID from floor to ceiling.  This is the ideal.  Solid 2-inch thick oak planks you have to drill nail holes on the bottom 5 feet, then plywood above for a smooth finished surface.

Here is our official foaling stall double doorway.  The top door is open; the bottom 5-ft. high oak plank door is closed (ideal would be bars up to the ceiling).  When the top doorway is open care must be taken with horses that are aggressive.  I lost a college colleague due to a stallion who stuck his head out and bit him on the neck, the next day they found lying dead in the alley way.  Mares can also be VERY aggressive with their new born so be very careful. We installed a foaling monitor and also have a fan for air circulation during the hotter times of year.

All of our stalls have Stall Skins installed. There is no better flooring for foaling. Period.  When wet, they are NOT slippery and foals have no trouble at all  getting their footing, taking those precious first steps.  There is also no "dirt-floor dust" to get sucked into newborn lungs. An outstanding Product.

We did not space out our mares deliveries this year as we had in the past,  and so several mares are due foal within days of each other.  Therefore we must convert our other stalls into foaling stalls.  To do this we need a solid wall 5 feet high.  We cover the bars in order to prevent a small hoof from a frisky foal from getting through, becoming stuck.  A foot that gets stuck generally breaks the foals leg,  which then leads to their death. Remember a horse is always looking for a place to have an accident.

Here Don is "fixing" the other stall (a foaling stall needs to be at least 12 x 16)  to be adequate.  Photo's show both inside and outside with finished walls that are 6 feet and  5 feet high at the door.

After the foals are larger - the feet, we will remove the temporary safety plywood.

As we have our temporary stalls completed for foaling, we installed monitors above the corner feeders. The safest divide between horse stalls should be a solid type of floor-to-ceiling divide.  This can be be modified for air circulation but still must have a solid wall 5 feet up then bars or some other form of "open divide".  We chose a 6 foot solid wall with no other barrier to the ceiling. This is not the safest, but we have our own horses and do not take in others.

If you have any type of tube gate, this too must be made safe for the baby foal.  Don fastened plywood onto this metal gate by first drilling holes into the gate and then screwing on the wood, making a solid wall. We made sure that there were NO gaps anywhere from top-to-bottom wider than 3 inches.  Any space wider than that could possibly entrap a young foal’s hoof.  Remember, your wall needs to be to the floor!  Babies lie down and get stuck very easily! And they can die from being cast under or in a gate. (Even big horses.)

Here is an inside view of the same gate,  as shown in the photo to the left.  Solid wood to the floor and 5 feet high.  We have installed the "stall skin" and now just have to bed it down with wood chips.

Riding in Peru.  Beautiful people, food and culture, but we sure missed OUR horses and tack; yes we are spoiled Americans!

Equine dental care is just as important as yearly vaccinations. Every year or at the very least, every-other-year horses need their teeth floated.   You either  hire a proper dentist or do it yourself.  Having the correct tools - to open the horse mouth wide enough is crucial to getting to all of the teeth, as is having a float with extensions in order to get to the back teeth for hook removal.  The float must also have a proper rasp which is the part that does the filing,  and costs $100.00 + and is good for aprox. 10 uses and can be sent in for re-sharpening.   Also a cocktail of tranquilizer is necessary (your veterinarian can draw one up for you). This way you can take all the time necessary to file down or remove, in young horses the wolf teeth and/or caps-if any. (Before I start my young horses in bit, I hire a veterinarian to remove these teeth since I do not have the specialized tooth removing tools, but in a pinch a hammer and screw driver will do the job.  Lastly, proper lighting is needed.  The use of a head-lite works great.

After administering the drugs, wait until they take effect. Start by feeling with your hand, the outside the top edges of the teeth and on the lower teeth, the inside edges next to the tongue. File those sharp edges off, and rinse your file often in water to remove tooth residue.  Then check the front and rear top edges of all the molars. The edges must be smooth and not have hooks. These hooks can cause real trouble and must be either filled or cut off-in which case you will need the services of a veterinarian as with, smelling anything bad, which may indicate rotting or abscessed teeth. 

Floating teeth - correctly, is hard work. Period.  
Don and I take turns until the job is done.

Turtle our RV kitty is wanting out for her morning walk (she is using the door handle).  Bengal cats make good companions, highly trainable, travel well and have many "dog like qualities" . Also notice where we use the "tidy pockets", just inside our door to hold loads of stuff.


In training our horses we have two areas in which to work them.  One is this open grassy area which they will be worked on a lunge line.  This teaches them, that I am the "center post" and that they will yield to the line and not look for a wall to work off of.

We put barrels near the area where the horse feed.  That way they are familiar with this item and not fear it in the future.

We do not shoe many of our horses and do not have shoes on during the winter months.  This makes for a healthier foot.  To keep the hoof cuticle healthy we designed our barn so that the horses will have to walk though moist earth and mud to get up under the barns lean for water.  You can see the darker area of earth, where water run off from higher ground is being surface drained around the barn.

Here is our round pen.  The safest pen is one where the walls are 6-8 feet high and solid.  In that way you have the horse's complete attention.  But we used cattle tube gaits.  You can make your round pen any size, but the best is the length of your lounge line that you are comfortable with.  Footing is important, use a clay base, sand, or a sandy loam, or a wood by- product is good.  There are many good choices out there.  We use this pen for lessons, jumping (you can see the equipment on the ground) and for green horses or outside horses that come in and need a place to remain isolated.

Here is where we have our outside water. It is located on a concrete slab, so that the horses without shoes can wear their feet down naturally. This stainless steel automatic water dispenser is heated during the winter. We have blocked off the back corner so that the horses cannot get behind it.  It also keeps them away from the water line going up into the hayloft to our water heater.  There is an angled board attached to the wall, that is the cat ramp for the kitties to get up and down from the hayloft.  Also there is a squirrel cage fan set on a shelf angling down. This keeps the air moving on very hot days.  These fans are readily available, and cheap. They are found at salvage yards and are leftovers from old livestock barns.  They move HUGE amounts of air.  We have floodlights up there too.

Having a sand pit or rolling area is very important for the health of your horses.  They roll to keep their coats healthy, to dry off after bathing or sweating and after being ridden.  They roll to re-align their backs, fix a tummy ach, remove biting insects and just for fun.  Horses love rolling and kick up their heals afterwards, especially after a rain!. It is a joy to watch this behavior.

Once each day our herd is found rolling in the sand pit.

You would never believe that this horse can so dead on the picket line, but put her in bit and or under saddle and I challenge any one to tire her out! She is an endurance and dressage riders dream, competitive and a ham at the same time.  She is gorgeous, she knows it and demands to be ridden!

Kelly conquers yet another horse.

The Tauer family in Montana

Colina our very broad 3 year old.

Swimming Colina.  When swimming you must take care to allow the horses head to stay up.  One breath of water up the nose and it can be curtains for your horse. That is why you must remove a tie down from your horse when crossing water and why so many horses can drown so quickly.

Rhea with Sadie in a Montana stream.

Kelly and Henry taking a nap.  Henry is one very special horse for a very special girl.  Together they have ultimate trust and love.

We hang pieces of plastic from the rafters to desensitize our young horses.  They have to go by it to get water or eat.

Don with his buddies.  His "little buddy Dick" and his "older adopted son Walt".  The wild bunch in Montana with their "pistolas"

The Ranch Handler Cart finds yet another use. Don rinsing laundry using bio-degradable soap -of course. 

Don and his "little buddy", calibrating their G.P.S.

Don in the wild with his wild riding Joya.

"Turtle" out on her morning walk.  Naturally she is on her leash.

Cathy getting the signal - consulting with the vet for a friend.

Cathy delivering catalogs on her beloved Tito. May 8, 1996 – September 3, 2004.  "He never has really left me, for he is with me in my dreams."

As we continue our training, when our babies are 1.5 or so years, they still come in twice a day for extra feed.  Since this is routine for them we begin exposing them to the scary things in life.  Such as the horse eating paper or plastic bags.  They must walk over, between and on these bags.  After a week of this we take this away and show it again to them when they are 2 or 2.5 years.  Before you know it they play with these sacks.  But initially getting them into the stall may take a little coaxing.  They give in quickly because they KNOW that there is FOOD waiting for them in their feeder.

The best mothers day present!  Don put in a hot water heater for me and my babies. He ran the lines from the horse water dispenser up into the hayloft where he then added 2 more floor joists to the loft floor to support this added weight.  He installed an outlet for the water heater and a separate on/off lighted switch down by the door.   He ran the water lines down with both hot and cold taps, running them together with a laundry hose.  My curly hose is attached to that.  He put in a washtub - with cut off legs, which fits below the water hydrant and allows for a 5-gallon pail to hang.  This tub drains into a gravel hole and out of the barn.  What a guy!  I love him and my horses LOVE their warm baths.

Our RV Traveling cat named Turtle.  Hits the Montana wilderness.

Here is one feeder located under our lean-to. We push hay bales from above into the feeder.  You can see pink strips of fabric (old pillow cases) hanging.  This keeps the birds from flying into the hayloft.  We have an automatic fly spray system with one nozzle in the lean-to area.  You can see the white hose going to that nozzle at the top left corner of the photo.

Here is our sitting and waiting area.  Notice the leaf blower?  This is what I use with an extension cord to blow out the barn.  Our concrete floors have ridges for proper footing and to sweep them is very difficult. This leaf blower is the best thing since sliced bread. I store it on top of our ox yolk.  Above that is one of our stereo speakers -  a leftover from college days.

Here we are training the babies to flapping plastic.  We have this plastic first on the ground for a couple of days in the corner, and then rustle it around while they and the others watch.  Then we hang it.  It will blow in the wind.  They will have to go around it to come in the barn for their daily feedings, go behind it to get hay from the feeder and go by it to get water.  This is a good review for all horses.


Wash training begins with having our babies next to other horses who are use to bathing.

As we wash we start with the font feet and move up - we use positive reinforcement with sweet feed in a bucket so they learn to LOVE baths.  Later we will drop the feed and use stroking,  rubbing and patting while speaking lovingly so they will always love this activity. Age is 17 months

Here we have our curly hose that will wrap and touch the rear legs as the babies get bathed.  They are already use to this feeling from the long lead ropes that we exposed to them to earlier during their halter and rope training. Age is 17 months.

Cathy in Kansas, finishing up on Colina's training. She had at 5 different riders, Ponied a strange horse and traveled with out any of her herd mates.  The next step in her training will be finding the correct bit that she likes and will give the collection that I am looking for. 

Here we are in Montana heading out on our overnight in the wilderness.  We use the garment bags (fully opened) that hold ample hay cubes, clothing and other gear.  We make sure that they are balanced and securely clipped and tied on to our saddles.  They worked great.  But before using them this way - fully opened, make sure your horse is use to having stuff set way back on their rump or riding double.

 Colina after two rides, has just a thin rope attached to her halter bridle and hooked around the horn of my saddle.  I will ride the season this way, for  if needed I can pull with out hurting her delicate nose.  Later I will add a three piece snaffle bit and work on head and neck positioning, followed by either another finishing bit or return to the hackmore. But only after she has the basics down which includes all leg and seat cues.  I do not teach leads and lead changes - cantering or heavy riding until the horses are 4 years of age due to the fact that the knee capsule is not developed and stressing this area will cause knobbed knees and horses that are over in the knees as well as arthritis later in life.

By the time my horse are 3 years old, they know their verbal cues.  I will saddle, lounge and pony them for a ride.  The next step is mounting up, getting down and mounting up again.  Next I have Don pony us along for a ride.  The following ride will be free of the pony rope but I will still have a lead rope along for the tricky spots.  Colina  is showing how we do this.  On the halter bridle, I have a strong lead rope attached and I have my reins first attached to the halter bridle's side pulls, and then later to the hackmore. After which I will add a bit when the young 3 year old is ready.

2004 the Tauer family is now complete with our youngest daughter working the booth at the MN horse expo

Don used his Cushman truck to move about the pastures carrying tanks of Propane and Oxygen.

Ready for battle

Don is filling the gopher holes and will detonate the mixture of oxygen and propane. The very large explosion destroys the nasty rodents and our horses will then have a safe pasture in which to run.  This activity is a must for maintaining safe pastures and great sport for those of us who have a warped sense of humor and get thrills out of blowing things up.

Here is "Shorty" he is the Peruvian Stallion we used to cover 4 of our mares. 

We arrived after a 4 hour drive and I unloaded  mares.  My one mare - who was ready for Mr. Right, stood right there for servicing.  Don't we wish all mares were that easy! Here are 4 of my mares checking out Mr. Right aka "Shorty".   I have their tails  wrapped up and so they will be ready when the "time is right". 

We start the riding season early in MN.  Easter weekend and there is snow.

When the temps are in the mid to upper 20's we have to use straw and extra horse blankets, to keep our holding tanks from freezing.


In the spring we will take our 3 year olds out for our yearly garbage walk abound the section of 4 miles. We walk the road ditch picking up trash on both sides of the road.  Not only does this get the environment clean, but we get in shape and our young horses learn to follow pick-ups and not fear them, even as other traffic passes by.

As you can see, "Colina" is tied to the back of the truck, short enough that she can not get her front feet under the rear tire. We drive slowly.  As Don dumps garbage, he will occasionally give Colina a treat of new grass from the ditch.  She learns very quickly that there is sometimes good stuff in this mess and noisy cans and floppy plastic and noses through it all.  We also have the kids ride bike along side and the bike too ends up setting in the back of the pick-up as well. 

Colina, walks calmly after about a mile of garbage walking and the rest of the time she learns to follow, riffle through trash, stand next to the pick up and watching cars and bikes go by.  After the 3 hour walk she is considered done with this training session, and will be exposed to this again when under saddle.

The black horse in the foreground is a yearling, we have a halter on her with a long rope.  You can do this in the pasture or out on your lawn where you can control the situation.  "Pequena" will learn that when she steps on the rope she will have to yield to it.  Then we will flip the rope around her belly and legs or she will tangle her self.  She will have this done for an hour and then again another day.

Skijoring --- Way COOL!

Customers welcome;  out from Chicago trying saddles. We saddled up 7 Peruvians and went riding, and we still had some horses "leftover" we could have saddled up!

Cathy holding 5 of our head, during a rest break

At the end of the riding season, we clean, condition and grease all our saddles, as well as, perform a safety check.  We also wash all pads and saddle packs and store our saddles in a zippered saddle tote until the riding season starts up again in spring.

After the young horse is use to a person on their back we lead them out side and go for a walk. (Age 2.5 late in the year.)  Reviewing our verbal ground cues  with a follow-up of physical cues from the bare back rider.

When our horses are 2.5 years old - late in the year,  we sit a smaller weight rider on their back and just sit there.  Then we wiggle around and slide off in all directions.  The next time we do this we will walk the horse around and repeat the verbal cues that we had been teaching all along to our horses.

After we have gotten our young horse to handle a rider bareback, we will put on the training bridle and review our ground cues, followed by our new cues  from horse back.

When our horses are 2.5 years old we put a shitty old saddle on their back.  I leave the horse in the stall so that they can get use to it. Chew on it, get hot under it, move around in it. I do this just one time for  half a day.

Kelly & Henry modeling their new American-Flex saddle that they both got for her birthday

When the horse is 2-2.5 years old we put on a bareback pad, we cinch it up and turn them loose in the pasture for a day.  They will buck, run and forget all about it. The pad flips up in the wind and even ends up under their belly.  No big deal.  We do this for just one day and no more. This is done before we put in the "shitty saddle" on for a day in the stall.

2.5 months-while foals are creep feeding- squatting while brushing-desensitizing for small children or lower animals such as cats and dogs.

When our horses are 2-2.5 years we introduce the saddle blanket and let it fall off (both sides front and rear), let the horse sniff and become desensitized to it. We do this a week or a day before we introduce the "shitty saddle" for day in the stall. And before the bareback pad -day in the pasture, training.

2.5 months old-while foals are creep feeding- desensitizing utter or sheath.

3 months-while foals are creep feeding-tail handling for future crupper and tail pulling for on the trail.

2.5 months-while foals are creep feeding-Fly swishing desensitizing. You can use a rope, towel or what ever. Flipping it all over on their legs and belly.

 3 months old-while foals are creep feeding- learning to stand for brushings.  We will do this while on our knees as well, keeping lower than them, that way they know nice things come from small people. Kids.

RV broke down in Nebraska and we were stuck at a truck stop. Good thing I had my emergency leg wraps (on the legs of the horses).  The parking lot got so full that night we could not open the RV door completely!

3 months old-while foals are creep feeding- ear desensitizing

If you look closely you can see Kelly taking 5 on Henry, during a rest stop in Arkansas

How we continue the horse training process. within the first week, Don picks them up and carries them around. So all their life they will know we are bigger and stronger than they are. Then when they are big we can stop them by just putting our arm out, touching their chest.

Solana, just hours old. Peruvian Filly 2003. Her training started the day she was born, with our fingers in all her orifices.

Pequena, one day old. Peruvian Filly 2003. Her training started the day she was born, with our fingers in all her orifices.  We imprint all our stock this way and later it will make the learning process easier, safer and faster. 

How the horses sleep on the line.  Our stock is so comfortable and feel so safe that they all just plop over when our riding is done.  They must know they will need all the rest they can get!

"Turtle" Sleeping- 2003 RV kitty.  Yes, we haul: 6 horses, three kids, one dog and a cat when we go riding...


Winners at orienteering!

Cathy's " Tito"
May 8, 1996 – September 3, 2004
Forever  will he be in my heart

Our three girls

The whole family coming in

Picketing between trailers

Both horses are sisters and so are the sisters! When I am not looking this is how the girls ride in the pasture - a bail string at best.... Ahh... so much for their helmets!!!!!

How we hang feed bags from the picket line

Kelly watering from the "ranch handler" cart

Sonia and her Princess

Kelly and her best friend Henry

Rhea with a "Hill View" farms filly "Colina Vista"

Kelly reading with Henry at sunset




Kelly laying across a yearling and Don's old quarter horse. No wonder our horses are so "kid Broke"

Cathy, working on perfecting Joya's gait.

YEP,  that is my TITO!

Our "wild" Tito has come home and I turned the kids loose on him.

Princess getting a beauty make-over

A girls life, real and play horses, food and girl-friends.

How our kids ride at home when mom is not looking. NOT recommended! But all of our stock can be ridding this way.

How the kids pick ticks from horses tails.

RV's can hold a lot of kids.

The Tauer girls on Mister, a Fox Trotter.

Rhea in "muddy waters" with Mister, who 2 months later we had to put down....he will always be in our hearts...

Kelly "sacking" out another horse

Rhea on her Fox Trotter "Mister" who she received for her 12th Birthday

Dakota, getting a beauty make over.

Henry, Kelly's Peruvian Paso and her love.

Don taking the girls fishing. Can't ride due to Kelly "bike" accident...NOT horse!

Sadie in the tack room with Rhea. We like to keep our horses curious.  Allowing them to do this make them willing movers and happy to "explore".

Camping in the year 2001

This is when kids become good help, when they can pitch manure!

Don training a team of Belgium's.

Dons riding horses, a Peruvian and a Quarter.

The Tauer Family, 1996. The year we started our business

Dons favorite horse and saddle.

Proud girls and mom. They took 1st and 2nd place.

Cathy's Mom and Rhea.

Taking a carriage lesson in Maine. We are hooked.

Taking a break after 10 miles with 10 more to go.

Cathy at Pikes Peak, CO

Tito, spent 5 months in solitary confinement before he decided to become part of our family's herd. ( Before this, he was considered "dangerous" and destine for kill. Then he found me and thought... I could try... and just maybe... ) It was a long cold winter before he would allow me to touch him and then for him to decide to put his head in the halter.


The girls and Sonia with her favorite horse "Princess"

Rhea's second favorite horse, "Sadie" a Peruvian Paso.  Rhea just finished the "Jumpy Jumpy" training lesson. When our horses are 1.5 or so in years old, we stand next to them and jump up and down. We do this on both sides and all around. Then we do this with our hands on them.  Bouncing like "Tigger in Whinney the Poo."  We do this until they are comfortable with it and then ignore it. We will repeat this exercise about 5-8 times before the bare back pad is introduced.

Always time for a break when doing hay.

The Flex connection works great in training young horses.  I use this for one or two rides and then they do not need it any more.

Don in SD, with his "Trail Sox" on. This is a great pad to use when all day in the saddle.

We rode 190 miles up to this mountain view in Mexico

Notice our saddles tipped up to dry in the sun.

Tauer family, Black Hills SD

Tauer women in SD

Don in Costa Rica


Kelly with her horse Henry. Notice the proper length to set your lead line on your picket line.

When introducing new horses, we do this process very slowly.  First we introduce the horses over the fence and then separately in a neutral pasture.  We start with some of the lower ranking horses, one or two individuals or select the one top horse, (trust your gut instinct.)  We use the old philosophy of divide and conquer.  But then comes the day that you will bring them all together in the main pasture/paddock.  This is when the dynamics of the pecking order takes full effect.  So we have several tricks up our sleeve.  One, we can hang a 3 lb. log chain from the halter of the top ranking horse to dissuade chasing.  The chain hits the horse in the knees as he runs after the lower ranking horse.  If you have gaited horses that can gait fast, the chain is ineffective because it does not swing.  So then you use option 2, 3 or a combination of them all.

Another option is hobbles.  We use these on  the horse who likes to run-down and chase the new horse. After 2 days of being  hobbled, they get a clue on what is and is not acceptable.  But do keep in mind that some horses can really learn well how to get around with hobbles on and can gallop full out! As for where to place hobbles on the horse I have always gone around the pasterns, some prefer the cannon bone area.  I have not found one area any better than the other.

Not introducing new horses carefully and slowly can result in costly vet bills or take your horse out for the season. You may think our methods are cruel, but we have not yet had a horse run  through a fence, lose (instead of loose) riding time or incur \ vet bills.  Although, we have had the occasional bite. 

 Introducing new horses to the herd can be a challenge.  For those horses who like to bite, we put the grazing muzzle on.  We attach this to one of our halter bridles - bit not attached, and leave them wearing this for a a day or two. For those horses who like to run down and bite the new horse, we add the 3 pound log chain to the halter.  After a day-or two of this, their heads and necks so tired - hanging so low,  they just give up do not care at all about the new arrival.

Kelly showing the proper placement of the breast collar

The Tauers. Notice our shade awing for the horses.

Notice the "fuzzy" breast collars. Did that once, but NO more. I have better things to do than to pick burs out of them.

The Primer grooming products are the ONLY thing to use if you want beautiful manes and tails on your horses.

Here you see our hay bags on the picket lines and our horses just waking up in the morning.

Weaning time with Cattle.

Rhea on "Raya", They loved doing games.


Kelly training again.

Kelly and Sonia riding "safely".  When mom is around.

Horses and Kelly on the picket line. Notice the picket line tightner in the back ground.

Horses on the line and notice our Ranch Handler Cart that we use, and use and use. Makes Don's life much easier!

Horses on a picket line with their "pajama's" on or as Don would say in their "dinner jackets"

Don and Stuart, with Sonia in control

Sonia sharing her watermelon.

Crossing into WI on a high Bridge.

With kids we used saddle bags for them to put their feet in. We found this to work the best.  There would be no stirrup for them to get hung up on and a place for them to put their goodies in.

When we used to use mesh hay bags, we hung them HIGH. For when empty they got long and horses got tangled.

Joya, as a 2 year old on the picket line. We did not  birth this baby on our farm, but bought her as a weanling.  Joya was imprinted wonderfully by the breeder.  Cathy likes to get horse at any age, but prefers younger if the imprinting process was not properly done or missed, so that way the potential for  "incidents" can be diverted.


The butterflies like our crushable hats too

Cathy riding a week after she broke her arm in Costa Rica.

Notice that Stuart is SLEEPING

Riding in Mexico

Cathy and Don with our traveling hats

Arenosa (a Peruvian Paso), getting trained by Kelly

How we use to tie off of a trailer

Our tack room with bridles, etc, etc, etc.....

Our tack room with 11 Delrin panel saddles!!

How we camped with toddlers, we "contained" them.

Besides horses, we do fish

Starting out slow with a friends child. (Just taking a picture) .  Our daughter is on the rear - with her helmet.

Cathy with TV and Press coverage

"Ruby" the last born from our Quarter horse line. Notice the after birth, we make sure it is all there by laying it out and finding the rupture points. If not you will need to call your vet, so that a shot of oxytocin can be given to clean the mare.

Sonny, Cathy's first "Minnesota" Quarter horse.

In a pinch, you can use a girth cinch for a rear flank, make sure you hook them together though.

Cathy, loving those big ears.

Look at that dot on the point of hip. Your saddle and or pad should come no closer than that.

Our miniature, "Lassie". Yes they can make great trail horses, but they are SMALL

Don returning from the Chamberlain, SD exotic animal sale with "Spike" he did not turn out to be a very good trail donkey so we got a miniature horse.

Don's horse bite from a bad saddle. This is how we got into and found the "right" saddle. A DELRIN panel saddle! This bite was though insolated coveralls.  Naturally,  I went out and got on this horse bareback, (so to come off clean and not get hung up on equipment if he got to bucking which he always did with Don).  Well, the horse was perfect! I could do nothing but pat him after working him hard for 4 miles.  So was that a clue?? The saddle or what?  Hind site is 20/20.  How many good horse are sent down the road due to a bad saddle and how many people get injured or worst due to a bad or ill fitting equipment?

Men have you ever had to do this?

Cathy's Dad

 A Hill View Farms birth. "Denny" in 1987.

Cathy on Denny, life before a flexible panel saddle and when I had 7 saddles - naturally for the various horses.

A new aluminum trailer! Much lighter, much nicer and easier to pull.

We added more room for our family with the addition of an RV and are hitting the trail hard.
Remember when?

Added second trailer to handle the growing head of horses. Another steel trailer.

Adding hay storage, and rebuilt our old red steel trailer.

1986 before kids, Cathy "training" Don to horse camping.

1989 Kids on the way, moving up to a pick-up camper.

Finding ponies for the kids, no easy task.  Remember do not be afraid to PAY for what you need in a pony or horse.  Ask yourself, what is your or your  child's life worth?

Written Memories

© Web Master - Cathy Sheets Tauer