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1989 Standardbred Mare - Arbet Velma - AKA Joy



Name: Arbet Velma - AKA Joy
Color: Bay
Height: 15:2HH
Birthdate: 1989
Deceased: 2007
Acquired: By Purchase as a 4 year old


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"Owed to Joy"
In memorium of our beloved horse "Joy".

Joy was the original horse for Red Dog Ranch.  She was an ex race horse off the track - supposedly her career ended because she wasn't fast enough - you could never tell Joy that.
She could walk faster than most horses trotted!
We made many, many mistakes with Joy - yet she was the "old faithful" - if you could get on her out in the pasture, (she was tall and white girls can't jump)  you had a ride wherever you wanted to go.  She saved us a lot of steps when cows went missing, she had 5 outstanding foals for us, and she was dependably hard headed.  
She was there, patiently waiting for us to learn that there was more to riding than the jerk, yank, and kick style that we thought was appropriate and she responded quite well when we learned new methods of round penning, using the Noavel and giving to pressure.   

Though we spent many years riding Joy by sheer effort trying to hold her back, by the time she left us we had learned enough that we could ride the old "hard mouthed" girl with just a rope around her neck and leg pressure.  We also learned much later on that the Standardbreds are trained to go faster the more you lean on the bit - no wonder Joy would never slow down - enter the concept of riding Joy on a loose rein :)   We also learned some basic principles from John Lyons magazines and when we finally started wising up to the old girl we found that some horses do respond to the method of making them think "they almost died" for their infringement.
Regardless of all the horse whispering, gentle, non-aggressive, passive, let the wild animal love you type of training methods available on the market today (some of which I do agree with) there is a time and a place for more drastic measures AKA "a good round out behind the wood shed."

  1. One summer we had Joy at a friend's to get bred- she was there for about two or three weeks - all the other horses were having a wonderful time grazing freely in our front yard.  We had about a 2-3 acre "front lawn" along a fairly busy highway and we had it all nicely fenced with a Texas gate across the driveway which nobody crossed.  It was a slick set up - the grass got mowed, the horses got fed and we had the most beautiful lawn ornaments - UNTIL - we brought Joy home...

We let her (our old faithful, who we had previously let run free on a different unfenced yard years back when we didn't know much about horses) off the trailer and out on the lawn to graze peacefully with the others - WELL - she wasn't on the lawn for ten minutes before she had everyone running down the driveway - one big leap and they were across the Texas Gate and headed down the highway - in record time we caught everyone but Joy.  I must have spent half an hour coaxing, chasing, demanding, sneaking, cajoling - to no avail.  Joy flying up and down the highway like an 8 month old Arab - tail flying high like a flag - I was out there long enough for neighbors to go by one way to town, do their business and come home again, to their amusement I was still trying to catch my idiot horse.  Finally I managed to get a hold of her.

John Lyons says that if a horse bites or nips at you, you have three seconds to make it think it ALMOST DIED for that infraction.  I took this theory to heart and applied it a bit differently with Joy.  Once I got a hold of her I angrily SNAPPED the lead rope onto her halter and then I STOMPED all the way to the corral behind the house with her in tow, muttering VERY menacing, DISCOURAGING words to her - vastly extending and suspending my 3 seconds - then I tied her up to the colt breaking pole we had in the back corral - SHORT - and then I proceeded to tell her at the top of my lungs for the next 15 minutes (vastly prolonged 3 seconds) how very upset, and mad, and seethingly angry I was at her, punctuated by the odd punch to the abdomen (for all you horse abuse people out there the few tiny shots I gave her didn't even amount to what her foals do to her when they are playing around).  I got across to her.  I stared into her eyes, I jumped around like a lunatic, I ranted, I raved, I sputtered, I grabbed her halter by both cheek straps and contemplated biting her nose ....  and I got across to her that SHE ALMOST DIED for that little stunt.  

And you know what - it worked. We NEVER again had ANY trouble catching Joy.  No, I didn't break her spirit - I didn't even come close to bending her attitude - she was still the same knothead she always was - but we now had an understanding.  Even after we moved to our new location and Joy was out on the 100 acres free and roaming with the rest of the herd - if we approached and wanted to catch her - despite the fact that she was the alpha mare in the herd - if we said "Joy" in that certain foreboding tone, she would stop and almost shrug her shoulders as if to say "okay already, I'm not going anywhere" and you could walk right up and catch her while everyone else was literally high tailing it off across the open pasture.

Joy was used for lessons for teaching newcomers because she was dependable - put someone aggressive on her and she would be aggressive right back - perfect for teaching a person how to ride properly, not aggressively.  Put someone afraid, timid, small, or old on her and she was a lamb.  She'd stand like a statue for them to get on - she'd adopt a slow measured gait - completely at odds with her normal - "I forgot water boiling on the stove" gait.  We used Joy to pony weanlings and yearlings, we used her to get from point a A to point B, we used her to pull things and we had many fun trail rides with her.

Joy and I had one major conflict that she did manage to get the better of me on.  She was a gorgeous bay with high black legs and pitch black mane and tale - just an outstanding looking horse.  I just knew she could make an outstanding buckskin for me - in the beginning when I knew NOTHING about genetics I bred her to a sorrel, then a sorrel paint, then a palomino twice and then a homozygous black and white paint - after the first two babies were born I just wanted to see "something" different than a bay - 5 babies - always gorgeous bays - she lost the baby with the homozygous black - and then....
I had her... I knew I had her ...  I acquired a Cremello quarter horse stallion and I knew I had her.  She was going to give me not only something other than a bay, but she was going to give me a buckskin, at worst a palomino, but it was not going to be another bay.
The first year she didn't catch.   Typical knotheaded stubborn temperament ... The second year she started having trouble in the fall - by mid winter we were trying desperately just to keep her alive.  We knew she was pregnant and we knew the foal was still alive.  We babied her, we supplemented her, we blanketed her, Joy's daily regimen involved about 20 min- 2 hours for that entire winter - we worked so hard - she developed a problem with one of her hooves - she lost sooo much weight - we thought if only we could keep her alive another two months until spring and she could have her foal - then we would wean the foal early and she could regain some weight and her strength and let her live the rest of her days on the pasture.
 We really tried hard - but it wasn't to be.
Joy foaled out a stillborn foal about a month and a half premature.  She was so weak at this point she could not stand on her own and her hoof was not healing properly so with a heavy heart we put her down the day after she had her little buckskin filly.   We buried her and her filly side by side at the edge of our pasture and covered her with rocks.
I got my buckskin out of her, but Joy had the last word.

A horse like Joy is not "one in a million".  Many people have horses like Joy and the little bit written here doesn't tell the half of what she meant to us or all the fun we had with her, or all the frustration she gave us - but she was "Our Joy".
This page is on our Happy Homes page.  I do not believe that Joy has gone on to "Horse Heaven" or that she's in some "happy place" eating all the grass she wants, etc, etc.  The Bible doesn't mention anything about the animals we have on earth being in heaven, but one thing I cling to - God has promised that anything on this earth pales in comparison for what heaven is like and what He has in store for those who love Him and know His Son Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour - so if I think I got a lot of Joy from a relationship with a horse here on earth - I know God has prepared something far more magnanimous than Joy for me in heaven.  I miss Joy and she was a wonderful part of our lives.  I count it a true blessing that we were allowed to have her and feel bad for the times she was mistreated through our ignorance.
She really was a great horse!
Goodbye Joy!

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  • We Specialize in Helping First Time BuyersWe're here to help!  We were desperate for help when we first started with horses and made many mistakes because we just didn't know any better - There are many critical errors that first time owners make with their horses.  Things that you can be easily taught to avoid that will make a huge difference in how your horse behaves now and how he will behave in the future.  We offer our help in a unique, affordable way - one on one  - you just pay us what it is worth to you.Our Tack Shop was started to help First Time Buyers We started our shop because when we started we couldn't find affordable tack and we couldn't find anyone who would help us by what we needed, instead of attempting to oversell us.We sell you what you need and do not oversell you on things that you do not need.  If you want to spend extra money we have a good selection of stock for the extras too, but we work to give you the best quality in your price range.

  • First Time Buyers When you come to us as a first time horse owner or potential buyer, if you are interested we will give you a horse lesson, this is a basic lesson on how horses think and how you need to project yourself in order to have a successful relationship with your horse.  We will also attempt to outfit you with what you need - what fits you and your horse and your price range.   Non- First Time Buyers Even if you've had horses for a while, if you are having trouble we would be glad to try to help.  Our shop is off the beaten path, but by moving the tack shop to our ranch, it allows us to be able to give hands on demonstrations with live horses.  We are happy to answer any questions.  We stock a decent supply of non-first time buyer stuff as well.

  • Horses Born at Red Dog Ranch We have been breeding horses for 15 years.  We carefully chose our stallion to produce easy to get along with, fast learning, fun to work with foals that have the looks and build to compete in most local shows.  We were purposefully after laid back temperaments that would be more user friendly for less confident owners.  The fact that our stallion is a cremello means there is the added bonus of gorgeous color and his pedigree has enough show points behind him to ensure good builds as well.Other Horses we have For Sale We do take horses in trade for our Red Dog foals.  We evaluate each horse as it comes on the yard, then we price it and start working with it.  We have the basic goal that all the horses that pass through our yard will leave better than when they came and advancing toward what we call our "ideal" horse or to the best of their ability toward our ideal horse.   Prices do increase as their training progresses.

  • Horses That Have Passed Through Red Dog Ranch In the last 15 years we have owned many horses.  We love getting new horses working with them and learning from them and them and then finding new owners for them.  We have had many success stories.  Click Here to see some of the horses we have  owned.If you own a Red Dog Ranch horse... We would love to have you post your positive comments about your horse.  Please contact us and we can give you information as to how you can post your accomplishements on your Red Dog Ranch horse's page on this site.

  • Duly is a proven stallion ... He consistently throws laid back, level headed easy to work with foals with the bonus of a great build and color.  CLICK HERE to see a gallery of his foals.If you own a Duly baby... We would love to have you post your positive comments about your horse.  Please contact us and we can give you information as to how you can post your accomplishements on your Red Dog Ranch horse's page on this site.

What's New At Red Dog?

  • Buying a Horse this year? WAIT!

    With the advancement in genetic testing there is now something to consider when you buy your next horse.   For years many people have had horses with little problems (and big problems) that they have been frustrated with, spent thousands of dollars in vet bills on and have gotten rid of becasue they just couldn;t make them work.


    Now with genetic testing it has been discovered that some of these horses have a hereditary diseases known as PSSM.


    PSSM causes the following symptoms - many of which people chalk up to normal horse behavior, spoiled, poor training, etc.


    a Few common PSSM symptoms include:

    - A jekyll/hyde personality - very sweet one day , nasty the next

    - bucking, especially when asked to canter or lope

    - biting at the sides

    - frequent colic (which often is not colic but has been misdiagnosed as colic even by vets)

    - lots of rolling

    - refusal to move forward

    - extreme anxiety when trailering

    - stiff hard muscles

    - tying up

    - rope walking

    - dislikes being brushed

    - nasty attitude for saddling

    - there are many more symptoms


    If you are considering buying a horse this year - make sure at the very least the horse is tested and is nn for PSSM1 - better is to make sure it is 5 panel nn - and even better is to make sure it is negative for the PSSM2 variants (there are currently 4 - P2, P3, P4 and P5) and there is another one causing problems known as PX (originating in TB lines)


    If you think your horse may have PSSM (it is in about 20-30% of Quarter Horses and QH crosses) amongst other breeds - you can contact me for more info or you can go to BRIDGEquine.com for more info.  Testing for P1 is easy and inexpensive and you can do ti yourself.  You can also send myou horses pedigree and I can tell you if it has known PSSM in its background.


  • 2018 Foals are Almost Ready to be Weaned

    2018 foals are almost ready to be weaned!
    We have three foals left to choose from.

    One from our Smokey black mare ImpressivePerfection
    (a beautiful Perlino (or smokey cream or cremello) filly
    One from BMF Honeys Jameen
    A handsome grey palomino colt.

    We also have one Pitch Black Pony colt.
    He should be around 10-11 HH
    Right now he is pitch black with a white star. 


    Exciting times!

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Take #3 highway 10 miles west of Morden. Turn south on #31 and go 8 1/2 miles. Go east 1/2 mile.

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