Horses – America’s Heartland: Episode 902
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Horses – America’s Heartland: Episode 902

August 17, 2019


America’s Heartland
is made possible by… Farm Credit –
financing agriculture and rural America since 1916. Farm Credit is cooperatively
owned by America’s farmers
and ranchers. Learn more at
farmcredit.com. Croplife America.. Representing the companies
whose modern farming innovations help America’s farmers provide
nutritious food for communities around the globe. Hi I’m Sarah Gardner. Hope you’re ready to ride
on this edition of America’s Heartland because
we’re “saddlin’ up” for a show that’s all about
Heartland horses. We’ll take you to California
and a wild horse sanctuary that’s working to protect
animals whose ancestors once roamed the wide open spaces
and mountains of the American West. We’ll head to Texas. That’s certainly horse country, to ride along with
singer/songwriter Jewel and her Bull Riding Husband
Ty Murray as they round up some cattle
on their Lone Star ranch. Then.. two horse stories that
take us far from the old west. We’ll meet a big city
veterinarian whose work is centered on the growing
popularity of horses for recreation. And we’ll take you to Kentucky’s
bluegrass country to visit a” retirement home”
for race horses. Get ready to ride..
on America’s Heartland. ♪You can see it in the eyes
of every woman and man♪ ♪In America’s Heartland
living close to the land♪ ♪There’s a love for the country
and a pride in the brand♪ ♪In America’s Heartland
Living close♪ ♪Close to the land♪ You can’t talk about the history
of American agriculture without talking about horses. A hundred years ago there were
an estimated 25 million horses and mules in America.. the majority of them
used for farm work. Horses pulled buggies
for transportation. And large draft horses were bred
specifically to pull the plows and harvesters that broke
the soil from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific ocean. Believe it or not.. all of the breeds of horses
we know in America today are not native to this country. Way back in pre-historic times
there were horses in.. what is today..
the continental U.S. They disappeared, however,
thousands of years ago. Spanish explorers re-introduced
horses to America
in the 1500’s ancestors of the wild mustangs
that still roam parts of the west today. There’s a good deal
of controversy over what’s to be done with those
horses today. Our Rob Stewart says that
discussion has prompted one group in northern California
to mix agriculture and tourism in telling the mustang’s story. ♪♪ WILD HORSES ROAM FREE
AT THE WILD HORSE SANCTUARY IN SHINGLETOWN, CALIFORNIA. IT’S A SAFE HAVEN AND HOME TO
MORE THAN 300 RESCUED MUSTANGS. The wild horses, I think,
have earned their place
in America’s history. They’ve done us a good job,
they’ve carried us west, they helped open up the west
and so we do what we can for as many as we can
and we tell the story. And other people have learned
and other people have followed our lead in
creating sanctuaries for them, wherever they can. THE JOURNEY OF SAVING HORSES
BEGAN FOR RESCUER DIANNE NELSON WHEN SHE WAS FACED WITH
A LIFE ALTERING DECISION. Over thirty years ago,
when the government first started catching wild horses,
there were not enough people coming forward
or even knew about the program, so at the end of one of
our contracts to remove horses from the Monarch
National Forest, eighty horses were
going to be shot and buried. And that was just more
than we could stomach, so we said,
“We’ll take ‘um.” We weren’t sure what we were
going to do with them we just didn’t want them to be killed. THAT’S WHEN DIANNE CREATED
THE WILD HORSE SANCTUARY… 5 THOUSAND FENCED IN ACRES THAT
SPRAWL ACROSS LUSH LAVA STREWN MOUNTAINS AND FOREST LAND
NEAR MT. LASSEN. IN THREE DECADES… DIANNE HAS TAKEN IN ALMOST
A THOUSAND WILD HORSES TO LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES
IN PEACEFUL PROTECTION. THERE ARE more than 30,000
WILD HORSES ROAMING PUBLIC LANDS ACROSS THE WESTERN
PART OF THE COUNTRY. EACH YEAR – THE GOVERNMENT
GATHERS WILD HORSES TO PLACE FOR ADOPTION. So it really was a leap of faith
for you. You had no idea what you were
going to end up doing with this? No, no we didn’t. Sometimes somebody comes to me
with more horses that need a home or especially
if it’s large numbers, we really have
to think about it. And I go back to the beginning
and I say, “We didn’t have anything
but eighty hungry horses
to think about.” Well, now the sanctuary does
have a home and we’ve got
a support base. We know people care. Our big job has turned out
to be telling the story. Come over here,
right in front of him and hold your speed. DIANNE IS TELLING THAT STORY
THROUGH OPENING HER GATES TO TOURISTS.. FOR DAY TRIPS OR WEEK LONG
HORSEBACK JOURNEY’S THROUGH THE HILLS
OF THE WILD HORSE SANCTUARY. Come on up here! EVEN IN THE POURING RAIN.. 84 YEAR OLD ELMO BUTTS
AND HIS DAUGHTER PEGGY BENTON ARE ON HORSE BACK.. HEADED ON A THREE HOUR TREK
TO OUR OVERNIGHT CAMPSITE. ALL ALONG THE WAY.. WE STOP AND WATCH HORSES
IN THE WILD. I think that for me, it’s
probably one of those things I think everyone should do
because it’s such a learning
experience. I don’t think a lot of people
understand the plight of the wild mustangs,
and this is beautiful. They’re out there,
this is where they live, and I think it’s great! its beautiful even with the
rain its been a great day It’s just something that most
people don’t get a chance
to see, and I think everybody
should get out here and see it. I can’t.
I can’t put into words
what I feel. Food’s on. Dianne rings dinner bell. THE CLOUDS CLEAR.. AND IT’S TIME FOR
A CAMP FIRE DINNER, AND SOME REST AND RELAXATION. AND AT DINNER TIME..
THE WILD HORSES GET CLOSER
AND CLOSER. This is our cabin here
at the wild horse sanctuary – and right outside of our door,
look – two wild horses. They’re just over here, eating
alfalfa that they put out to bring them over – and they’re
so calm, just don’t get too close. ♪♪ So what will you go back
and tell people about this experience? Well, I’d tell them that they’re
not going to regret it. It’s… it would be time
well-spent. It’ll be something that they’ll
come back with their photographs and their memories and their
stories to tell, and uh… You know, once in a while,
you take a little side trip and its nice when
you’re out doing it, and a year or two later
you don’t remember it. This one you’ll remember. Do I see tears in your eyes? [Laughs] Little bit. Like you said, I feel blessed, I
really do. I’ve had people say that it’s as
much a sanctuary for people too, though, because in today’s
hectic world, I think we all would like
to be able to have a piece of life like they do. You know some freedom to be
themselves and just enough food. They’re not looking for more,
they just need enough, and that’s what we hope
we can give them here. If you think about it,
the transition from horses to tractors meant that American
farmers no longer had to plant crops like oats
to feed their animals. That opened tillable soil
to other crops.. including soybeans.. the production of which greatly
expanded after the 1950’s. There are a lot of horses
in the United States.. an estimated nine million
at last report. As you might expect,
many of them are in
the western U.S. but you might be surprised
to find out that Florida has a huge population of horses-
more than half a million! California claims around
7 hundred thousand horses and…in first place? Texas where horses are used
for recreation and old time cattle roundups
as well. Let’s take you to
the Lone Star State and a ranch with some
famous owners whose lives include time on horseback
almost every day. AS THEY SADDLE UP TO MOVE CATTLE
ON THIS LATE SUMMER MORNING, JEWEL.. AND HER HUSBAND,
TY MURRAY ..ARE A LONG WAY
FROM THE BRIGHT LIGHTS THEY OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES IN. TY.. A WORLD CHAMPION
RODEO RIDER.. AND JEWEL..
A SINGER/SONGWRITER WHOSE ALBUMS HAVE SOLD MILLIONS
OF COPIES WORLD WIDE.. “My favorite memories
of growing up were probably horses and music. those two things
were bright spots in a life that was
challenging and difficult.” THE HARDSHIPS THAT PRE-DATE
JEWEL KILCHER’S RISE TO FAME ARE WELL DOCUMENTED. LEAVING HER RURAL ALASKA HOME..
AT AGE 15.. FOR A PRESTIGIOUS
ARTS SCHOOL IN MICHIGAN. HITCHHIKING CROSS COUNTRY. SINGING IN COFFEE HOUSES
TO PAY THE BILLS AND LEARNING.. FIRST HAND.. WHAT IT MEANT
TO BE HOMELESS IN AMERICA. “But I just fell on hard time;
I had sick kidneys, I couldn’t afford antibiotics, I almost died in the parking lot
of the hospital because I didn’t have insurance. It was just this vicious cycle. I’d get a job but then get
too sick to keep the job and would end up
getting fired again.” CHRONICLING THOSE HARD TIMES
WITH HONEST, LYRIC-DRIVEN SONGS WOULD WHISK JEWEL OUT OF THE CAR
SHE LIVED IN-AND ONTO THE CAR RADIOS OF MILLIONS OF LISTENERS. “I am my father’s daughter…” “I’m a 4th generation cowboy
so you know I grew up around it my whole life.” GROWING UP IN A FAMILY WHERE
BOTH HIS PARENTS HAD RIDING BACKGROUNDS, TY WAS AT THE TOP OF THE RODEO
GAME BY THE AGE OF 21. “You know I was on horseback
before I could walk.” “You know riding rough stock and
rodeos and ranching those were the two things
that I was crazy about.” THE PAST DECADE HAS BEEN A
WHIRLWIND FOR BOTH TY AND JEWEL. NEW ALBUM HITS
AND THE PUBLICATION OF TWO BOOKS FOR HER. TOURS ON THE MUSIC
AND RODEO CIRCUIT. (Cows Mooing) OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT,
THEIR 22 HUNDRED ACRE CATTLE RANCH IS WHERE JEWEL
AND TY COME TO DECOMPRESS FROM THEIR BUSY
PROFESSIONAL LIVES. “I think it’s a great place
to stay grounded. I mean our job is a blessing
and it’s amazing but it can also be really silly and you can get
caught up in the wrong things. And I think this helps you
stay really grounded. It’s nice to do chores- we’ll be doctoring a cow one day
and at the Oscars the next.” “When you get out here
and the gates are shut and you don’t even know
the rest of the world is going on and I think
we both really enjoy that, the privacy and the peace
and the beauty of it you know, the lakes and the rivers.”   RANCHING HAS PROVEN TO BE
THE COMMON THREAD DRAWING JEWEL AND TY TOGETHER. So how does a guy go about
finding a girl who’ll come out here and live in the middle
of nowhere and will help
you work the ranch. Shoot, just look at me! It was the smile right! I don’t know you know me and
Jewel met about 11 years ago and at the time Jewel and I met,
she was touring really hard and I was rodeoing really hard
and we were both just on the road constantly.   LIFE ON THE RANCH GIVES JEWEL
TIME TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT AVENUES OF CREATIVITY. “I really enjoy drawing,
sculpture and visual art as much as I enjoy singing; as much as I enjoy
writing poetry. It all feels like the same body. It’s just different limbs
that I need to exercise.” (laughs) TY’S WORK IN ADVANCING
THE PROFILE OF THE PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS ASSOCIATION
IS A NATURAL FIT WITH HIS LOVE OF THE HEARTLAND’S
WIDE OPEN SPACES. AND TIME ON THEIR RANCH PROVIDES
JEWEL AND TY A SETTING TO CONTINUE THEIR WORK
AS THEY LOOK TO THE FUTURE. “You know I’m glad that I was
able to kind of, both of us were able to go out and do what
we wanted to do and have some success and enjoying the fruits
of our success.” Texas has plenty of cows
to keep cowboys and cowgirls busy. The cattle industry
is a 13 billion dollar business and ranches in the Lone Star
State round up more than 13 million cattle. IF YOU’RE NOT A HORSE OWNER OR
RIDER, YOU PROBABLY HAVE LITTLE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MEMBERS
OF THE EQUINE FAMILY AND YOU’RE NOT ALONE. WE’LL TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY
WEIGH A BIT LATER IN THE SHOW, BUT WHAT ABOUT THEIR HEIGHT? WE THOUGHT IT WAS TIME
TO ASK A FARMER. ♪♪ I’m Laura Quezada and I’d like
to ask about measuring horses
by hands. ..what exactly is a hand
and where did that measurement
come from? I get this question
all the time. A hand is an ancient measurement
um, sort of like a foot or a span or a cubit
and it’s one of the ones that it’s just a relic
that we still use today. A hand is equivalent
to four inches. And in order for a horse
to be a horse sized horse, the horse has to be at least
14-2 which is 14 hands, 2 inches high.   And the place where
we measure that ..The place that we measure
that is that the only place on a horse that’s always the
same height when they’re standing square
and that’s at their withers which is at where their neck
meets the rest of their body at the top of their shoulder.   So if you want to get an exact
measurement it’s a good idea to have the horse standing
square which is feet right next to each other and on
a level surface as well.   So there we go,
he’s about 15-2/15-2 h. Good job. ♪♪ I mentioned earlier that
horses are used for recreational riding. And taking care of your horse
is important, not only in the country, but even in areas close
to America’s largest cities. As you might expect, a big
animal is a big investment. For one veterinarian
in the Chicago area, that means time on the road
to make sure that investment
is healthy. Akiba Howard takes us there. HORSES ARE ELITE ATHLETES BY NATURE… READY TO PUSH THEIR BODIES
THROUGH THE MOST RIGOROUS
WORKOUT- SOMETIMES TO THE POINT
OF INJURY. “Open up the right
shoulder again. Yeah really good. WHEN CATHERINE GERADI
TRAINS TOO HARD, SHE CALLS HER DOCTOR. WHEN HER MORGAN HORSE “RHYTHM” TRAINS TOO HARD,
CATHERINE CALLS HIS DOCTOR – A SPECIALIST WHO KEEPS RHYTHM
PERFORMING IN THE RING-AND OUT. “The main problem with
show horses is they are worked, they are worked every day going
in circles, jumping around, So when that happens there’s
a lot of times when they’ll
come up lame, where they get sore in the legs
and then they can’t work. They can’t do their job.” They can’t do their job they
can’t carry my rider.” DR. NICKY WESSEL IS AN “EQUINE
SPORTS MEDICINE SPECIALIST”. -THAT MEANS NOT ONLY TREATING
SHOW HORSES, BUT ALSO HORSES RIDDEN FOR RECREATION. “Honestly, what we can do
in people we can do in horses anymore now too. …They specialize in cardiology
and medicine and surgery you know like humans do..” NICKY WAS ONLY FIVE WHEN SHE
DECIDED THAT WORKING WITH ANIMALS WAS GOING
TO BE PART OF HER LIFE. I started working at the clinic
back home when I was 14 it was mixed animal practice so it was cows and horses
and dogs and cats and I really knew that my place
was not in the office doing dogs and cats. I’ve always loved the horses. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF HORSES
IN THE UNITED STATES. AND WHILE MANY EQUINE DOCTORS
PLY THEIR TRADE IN THE RURAL CORNERS OF AMERICA’S HEARTLAND, DR. NICKY’S PRACTICE
IS CENTERED IN CHICAGO AND ITS SURROUNDING SUBURBS. “I’ve got horses that are like
these guys here that we’ve got at the farm,
we’ve got 10 to 15 acres and they’re out to pasture.
That’s a rare occurrence in my
practice. “Most of my horses live
in a stall most of the day and go out on paddock for
exercise a couple hours a day. …and honestly as long as you
have the good trainer and the good care,
it has no detriment to the horses, its really not,
its just a change to the way they live, but its not
a detriment to them. “I mean it’s a huge business I
think at least it was a few years ago the horse
industry was the second largest industry in
Illinois.” AMERICA’S EQUINE INDUSTRY
EXTENDS TO NOT ONLY RANCHES BUT TO FEED COMPANIES, FENCE
BUILDERS, STABLE CONSTRUCTION AND OF COURSE VETERINARIANS “Your back legs are
your touchy spot. Good boy.” I pay 2 people.
My vet and my farrier. Without them I can’t function. Nicky’s job is crucial for me
for keeping the horses sound, not letting them get lame,
which is a key to what we do. MOBILITY PROBLEMS CAN BE
A COMMON AILMENT FOR LARGE FOUR LEGGED ANIMALS. THAT’S A SIGNIFICANT
PART OF THE PRACTICE. “To diagnose it, I do a lot
of work with them under saddle because I really like to watch
them move The flexion test where I torque a specific joint. I have digital
x-rays to dig deeper. We have digital ultrasound and
again its just to dig deeper.” MAKING HOUSE CALLS TO LARGE..
AND EXPENSIVE.. ANIMALS OFTEN DEMANDS
THE USE OF THE LATEST IN EQUINE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. WHICH MEANS DR. NICKY’S MOBILE
OFFICE…HER TRUCK… COMES WITH THE TOOLS
SHE NEEDS FOR EXAMS. “So in here we’ve got my
portable ultrasound, my optomoscope
to look at eyes..” “We have all the drugs
and medications I need to treat our horses.” My digital x-ray machine is in
the cab. “Which means there’s an egg
floating around her uterus ready to become a baby!” DR. NICKY’S BUSINESS
HAS DOUBLED SINCE SHE BEGAN HER EQUINE PRACTICE.. CONFIRMATION OF THE DEMAND
IN NOT ONLY RURAL, BUT URBAN AREAS. “My business is spread
by word of mouth. If my current clients don’t like
me and don’t like
what’s going on, I ain’t going to get any new
ones So the fact that we are, really makes me feel good.” AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT,
HORSES ARE PART OF HER PERSONAL
LIFE AS WELL. SHE AND HER HUSBAND HAVE A HORSE
NAMED “CYCLONE.” “Come on, come on.” “A good day is the show you saw
today. That is a good day. Because the reason they are
there is because I fixed them a week or two ago. That is why I do what I do is
to see them smile and to see my clients up there riding
that horse going yes! I just got a blue ribbon
and they couldn’t do that two months ago.” I love what I do can you tell? You probably know what
your pet dog or cat weighs. But if you owned a horse…
how big would they be? ON AVERAGE: LIGHT RIDING HORSES
CAN WEIGH FROM 850 TO 1200 POUNDS. LARGER RIDING HORSES CAN WEIGH
FROM 1100 TO ALMOST 1400 POUNDS. THE BIG GUYS? DRAFT HORSES CAN WEIGH FROM 1500
TO MORE THAN 2000 POUNDS. ANIMALS THAT LARGE
HAVE A HEALTHY APPETITE. You’re probably most familiar
with horses used in handling livestock or seeing
thoroughbreds on television in events
like the Kentucky Derby. But what happens to horses
like that when their racing days are over? Jason Shoultz says…
a lucky few… will spend their golden years
in the Bluegrass State. ♪♪ They were born..
and bred.. to run.   Thoroughbred Racehorses..
some who earned millions for their owners. But where do they go when
they’ve retired their racing saddles? If they are lucky they’ll end up
in the rolling countryside of Central Kentucky,
here at Dream Chase Farm. “come here you big horse.. ” Basically, it’s a retirement
home for old Thoroughbreds. It’s kind of like having
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson here if you ‘re a racing fan. We have horses
that won the Breeder’s Cup. We have horses that won
the Clips Awards, which is like winning the Oscar. He’s an unlikely horse farm
owner who made a name for himself far
from the quiet countryside. For years Blowen was
the film critic for
the Boston Globe newspaper. He fell in love
with horse racing.. and ultimately
the horses themselves. Buying his own horses
in Boston and following racing. But he was increasingly bothered
by the fates of the horses when they are done racing. When they are done racing
and being used for breeding most racehorses
have historically ended up at the slaughterhouse. That always stuck in the back of
my mind and I thought gee whiz, if I ever get a chance
to do anything about this I’m going to take a shot at it. I guess I identify with them
because my racing and breeding career is over too, so we have that in common but
they were much better athletes than I was so I guess
that’s where it ends. So after retirement from
the newspaper he and his wife Diane White – a Globe Columnist
herself purchased Dream Chase and formed Old Friends
Equine…with one goal provide homes for as many
retired race horses as possible. Right now Old Friends provides
homes for 100 horses. It costs about
10 thousand dollars per horse a year for upkeep and despite
the revenue the horses generated in their running days,
Michael and his small staff rely on donations. You feel like,
for all the entertainment and all the money that gets made
off of these horses you feel like this is the least
that we can do? Yeah, this is the least
we can do. And we should be doing better. I mean, at Old Friends, we take
care of a hundred horses now. We just got our 100th horse. And it’s still a drop
in the bucket. Michael says attitudes
toward post-racing care of horses are changing
in Kentucky. Horse veterinarian Doug Byars
says more needs to be done. The horse industry needs
more Michael Blowens. The industry does not keep pace
with demands that are being
created or not positioned to.   So basically it’s donations. There is no USDA dollar,
it’s all benevolent support. It needs to change. It needs to be stepped up into
where the industry takes responsibility. Doug Byars says that the work
done here at Dream Chase Farm provides one approach
to addressing the question of animal welfare… and a reasonable solution
to a growing problem of where horses like this may end up.. Some people literally
abandon them, take them out to the strip mine
areas and turn them loose, turn them loose on government
land or other places. And they consider that
as an appropriate solution. Which it’s not. While horse lovers say most
states have yet to consider the long term welfare issue
of working animals like these, they applaud
Michael Blowen’s efforts. Tourists stop by to see
famed horses they remember from racing days gone by. It’s proof, Michael says, that
this model can work elsewhere. This is a lot different
than writing movie reviews for the Boston Globe. Yes it is. Thank goodness.
I love doing that, of course. I couldn’t imagine doing
anything that was more fun then. And I can’t imagine doing
anything that’s more fun now. That’s going to do it this time. Thanks for traveling the country
with us on this edition of America’s Heartland. We’re always pleased
that you can join us. We know that we pass along a lot
of information to you in every program and in case
you missed something or you just want to check out videos
from this or other shows, we make it easy. Just log on to our web site
at AmericasHeartlandorg. And, of course, there’s a lot
going on in our social media arena.
You’ll find us there as well. We’ll see you next time
on America’s Heartland.   You can purchase a DVD or Blu Ray copy of this program. Here’s the cost: To order, just visit us online or call 888-814-3923.   ♪You can see it in the eyes
of every woman and man♪   ♪In America’s Heartland
living close to the land♪ ♪There’s a love for the country
and a pride in the brand♪ ♪In America’s Heartland
Living close♪ ♪Close to the land♪   America’s Heartland
is made possible by… Farm Credit –
financing agriculture and rural America since 1916. Farm Credit is cooperatively
owned by America’s farmers
and ranchers. Learn more at
farmcredit.com. Croplife America.. Representing the companies
whose modern farming innovations help America’s farmers provide
nutritious food for communities around the globe. ♪♪  

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  1. Me encanta todo lo que tiene que ver con la agricultura y la jardinería.tambien me encanta ver cómo se cultiva la uva.felicidades por su programacion.😘

  2. Adopt a horse today !
    Plenty of rural towns and cities with wide open space in America's countryside just first call your local towns ordinances

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