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Mark Bolender becomes the 'Alpha Mare' to enlist Dakota Demon in training

Horseman trains OTTBs as their ‘Alpha Mare’

Put a herd of 25 horses together for the first time, and after some kicking, biting, and a few flying tufts of torn-out hair, an alpha mare will emerge. In 97 percent of the time, after the dust settles, it is the female horse who emerges victorious as the leaders, says Mark Bolender of Bolender Horse Park in Washington. All devotion is vested in her, as long as she leads in a focused and consistent manner. But if she veers into inconsistent and unfocused leadership, the herd will turn on her and kill her. “Once she is chosen, an instinct […]

Cruella in her older years was happy at Our Mims

Cruella, ‘the kindest horse,’ dies at age 31

Our Mims Retirement Haven in Paris, Ky. announced last week that stalwart racemare Cruella, known to be kind to children and all small creatures, died July 26. The regal ex-racehorse was 31. Jeanne Mirabito, founder and president of the nonprofit charity that serves retired racemares, says in a press release that she knew that morning, when the sweet chestnut failed to come in for breakfast that the great mare had passed on. Remembered for her ability to bond with other horses—one of her best horse friends on the farm kept to his stall and whinnied throughout the day after her […]

Pruitt and Toukie cross a fast-moving river like a "tank" last month in Georgia

Plunging into chest-deep river, bravely they go

The river was high, the current fast. Maureen Bussier Pruitt looked around at the other endurance riders as they fell off, one by one, almost comically. Legs and arms akimbo, seasoned riders popping out of their saddles in various inelegant positions, and landing inescapably in the drink. That was the scene in Dawsonville, Ga. last month, as small Arabian horses tried in vain to leap the fast-moving current. Pruitt’s Thoroughbred Tour Miyuki had never seen anything quite like this river either. Unsure about the situation, he tried first to enter it sideways, reconsidered, and finally plunged forward like “the tank […]