Issue 114 | October 2019
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Riders enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of North Dakota.
A Note from Tom Seay
Planning Next Season's Riding Destinations

For many people, the end of October is considered the traditional end of the trail riding season and the beginning of next season's planning. To help in your planning, I wrote to the Director of State Parks in each state and asked if they were opening any new trails or had plans to close any riding trails in their parks in the upcoming year. I also asked which of their state parks were equestrian friendly. In this article, I will share with you the findings from three states: Idaho, Maine and Alabama.
First, Governor Brad Little of Idaho is very involved with horses. Idaho is one of the top states in terms of horses owned per capita and several of the state parks have special facilities to accommodate equestrian use, including campsites with individual corrals, group facilities, arenas and of course, trails. They have three parks in particular that are horse friendly: 

  • Heyburn State Park has relatively new equestrian trails that have been developed over the past six years or so. You can learn about Heyburn at this link.
  • Bruneau Dunes State Park boasts the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America and features an observatory with telescopes for viewing the night sky. You can get more information about Bruneau Dunes at this link. 
  • Farragut State Park is a 4,000 acre park which was previously a WWII era naval training station! Learn more about Farragut State Park at this link.
Maine is another horse friendly state. In our past travels in Maine, we have enjoyed riding on trails used for snow mobiles in the winter and horses in mild weather months. These trails are usually well marked and maintained and go for many, many miles across the county. This state has a wonderful search feature on their website to help you easily sort parks by activities available, including horseback riding, that you can find at this link . Simply click “Select by Region, Activity & Facility” to get started.
Bradbury Mountain State Park has equestrian trails and is open year-round in Maine. (Photo:
Alabama is the third state you may want to consider visiting for trail riding. Its location affords comfortable winter riding in the south, as you are near the Gulf of Mexico, and the northern part of the state is comfortable in the summer. We have visited Alabama often because of the trails, incredible southern food, and the people who make you feel like family anytime. In Alabama, there are 22 state parks across the state with two showcasing great riding opportunities: 
  • Oak Mountain State Park is in Birmingham, AL and is their largest venue for horse trails with 25 miles available and plans to add more. Guests can bring their own horses or rent them from the Rusted Roof Barn. They offer guided trail rides, horseback riding lessons, and pony parties for children. Visit this link to learn more about Oak Mountain’s Horseback Riding Trails and see a map of the trails.

  • Wind Creek State Park is located on beautiful Lake Martin. They have 20 miles of trails that are horse friendly and offer wonderful views of the waterfront, forests, and streams. There are 20 campsites available to guests who want to bring their own horses and we have a local vendor that offers horse rentals and stable options. More information about the horse trails at Wind Creek State Park can be found at this link.
On several of our upcoming episodes of Best of America by Horseback in November and December, we will focus on suggested winter riding destinations. You can see our upcoming television show schedule on RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel on our website under the TV Show tab. Find your next riding destinations and events under the Destinations by State tab.
Please feel free to write me anytime on my personal email for questions or suggestions of places to ride.

Tom Seay
Upcoming Nationwide Events
AL Sheriff's Girls Ranch Benefit Trail Ride
Camp Hill, AL - Nov 8-10

Ride for a good cause! Join Tom and Pat Seay at the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch and help raise funds for the ranch's new equestrian program. 100% of proceeds from rider fees will benefit the residents.

Call 256-872-1535 for reservations.

Shenandoah Valley Equine Expo
Fishersville, VA - November 14-16

Meet Tom and Pat Seay in southern Virginia at the Sheandoah Valley Equine Expo. Swing by the Best of America by Horseback booth, attend one of Tom's presentations, then stay late for exciting evening entertainment.

Southern Equine Expo
Murfreesboro, TN - February 21-23

Dedicated to every horseman, the Southern Equine Expo is filled with clinics, shops, presentations, and more! Come see Tom and Pat Seay and the Best of America by Horseback crew at our booth or listen to Tom speak about equine travel.

V6 Ranch Trail Ride
Parkfield, CA - March 13-15

Experience the cowboy side of California at beautiful V6 Ranch! Ride some of the ranch's 20,000 acres during this filmed trail ride with Tom and Pat Seay. A simple $25 deposit holds your spot.

Call 540-829-9555 to reserve a place on our wait list.

Nationwide Event Dates - 2020
Ride with Best of America by Horseback | 540-829-9555
Be Seen by an International Audience

Best of America by Horseback wants to showcase your event or riding destination! Our website is a great resource for trail riding locations and horse events across the country, all submitted by folks like you. All listings are FREE. Simply send us an email with the details and we can get you listed.
Cattle Drive Weekends at Andora Farm
Congratulations to the Priefert Family for being 2020 Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees!
Best of America by Horseback is Proudly Sponsored by Priefert
Priefert has an unbridled commitment to safety and quality when it comes to the equine products they manufacture. Regardless of discipline or age, Priefert wants your horses to be healthy and happy. That's why their products are designed with the highest degree of consideration for the safety of both the horse and the handler.
Coming Soon!

We received the first printing of our new cookbook, Best of America by Horseback Family Cookbook. Finally learn the secret to Tom's famous Corn Pudding, read about the history of Andora Farm, and enjoy some of the best food America has to offer, from our families to yours.

Ordering will be available on our website soon, just in time for Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who shared recipes, photos, stories, and a piece of their families with us. We are so excited to be able to share this will all of you! Keep an eye on our social media for more information to come.
Leading Your Horse Through Climate Change
by Carole Herder

The coastal region of British Columbia, Canada, where I live, is a temperate rain forest. A rainforest where, in the Summers, record-breaking temperatures are soaring, drought threatens, and wildfires burn out of control. Hot summers hail in the smoky fire season. Not only are the pastures, barns, and fences at risk of scorching to the ground, but so are our animals. Respiratory tract and overall health depletion are the minimal results. Fallouts from our topsy-turvy climate change contrast fires and excessive heat with floods and unseasonably cold temperatures. Our Winters here have become wildly unpredictable – weeks of snow or very dry periods when we once had steady rain. Like all living beings, our horses, too, are snared in the relentless net of climate change.
Looking at my horses in the amber afternoon sun, I am challenged to pick out the difference between them and the trees. They stand still, inanimate until a tail whoosh accompanies a leg stomp. Then still again - air traveling through nostrils, filling lungs and leaving again, rhythmic fragments of the environment that surrounds them.
"Horses make a landscape look beautiful." -- Alice Walker
Wind currents change, and in a blink of an eye they thunder off, snorting and bucking. That natural flush envelopes me, crazy delight when I watch them run. This time tinged with sadness as I am increasingly aware that conditions are not moving in their favor. Their world and ours are becoming more vulnerable every day. Fortunately, there are a few ways to lessen the impact. Prevention and preparation are our friends.

Here are your five considerations:
Extreme, unexpected, and extended weather changes have a significant effect on a horse's physical and emotional health. A drastic change in their environment elevates their levels of stress. Their survival instincts are triggered and, as with any creature, threatened survival is stressful! You can tone it down by keeping the things you CAN control consistent. Feeding times, immediate living environment, exercise intensity and regimes as well as turn-out schedules provide your horses with something to count on. When tumultuous rains take the place of what should be a warm summer season, or a cold snap suddenly hits, the world can seem ominous. Horses take comfort in consistency.
In the Summer months, dehydration, water shortage, poor air quality and too much dust are just some of the issues that come with excessive heat. Providing shade is significantly essential. Nature provides trees and foliage which help air quality tremendously. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other toxins, help cool the environment and emit organic compounds that help form ozone and carbon. Plant some trees while you still can. When seeding your fields, choose drought-tolerate turf and ground cover for grazing. I find comfort when I am doing something to prepare for the other things of which I have no control.
The rain won't stop. There are channels of water gushing where they don't belong, and the water troughs are overflowing. If this is your area, you'll need to make sure your horses can get out of the mud and moisture. Excess moisture in the hoofs can lead to a multitude of problems. The hoof starts to act like a sponge. It expands and becomes soft and mushy, prone to infectious diseases like thrush . I have seen soles deteriorate entirely. You must provide an area for the hooves to dry out. Build some drainage. Standing water is a haven for insects. Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent natural insecticide and can be used both internally in the feed or water and sprayed externally on the horse or insect breeding ground.
Consult with your trimmer and make her aware of the conditions, so she can monitor hoof changes and make any adjustments. Protect those hoofs and help them maintain their integrity and strength by using your Cavallos either for poultices, elevation from the elements, preserving hoof dressings or keeping hoofs dry. Remember, you can easily block the drainage holes in your Cavallos with duct tape when required.
In Canada, we’ve watched Europe and the UK try to cope with unusual Summer temperatures spikes. It’s a good idea to plan for the next season to come ahead of time. When allowed to acclimatize, a healthy horse has a natural ability to regulate his body temperature. Problems develop when change happens too rapidly. If overnight, the temperatures soar, his respiration and heart rate may rapidly accelerate. The hair follicles are not conditioned to raise and provide an appropriate layer of insulation. He is sweltering in the heat and needs time to adjust. Keep plenty of fresh water available and give him salt to keep him drinking and electrolytes to restore what he perspires. Fans are perfect machines to help circulate and cool the air. Keep exercise to a minimum. Cut back on the feed and just let him adjust without asking too much of him.
Protection and comfort are crucial. Your job is to provide a way to defend against the wind and other extreme effects of plummeting temperatures. The combination of cold, wet, and wind can be deadly. Make sure your horse has the option to seek shelter. Give him more to eat so he can adequately maintain his body temperature while burning up calories. Make sure the water is a drinkable temperature. No - horses do not eat snow. Blanket only when necessary, so as not to compromise their innate ability to raise hair follicles to insulate their bodies. Even a small light element can help your horse make the transition to the cold. If you provide a heater, keep it on low and phase it out as your horse acclimatizes.
Landscape in motion, horses gently moving through the environment like a light breeze, cooling on a hot day. Then, in a flash, they're whipping into their power - forceful beasts that take off at forty miles per hour. Tremendous power. We watch their ebbs and flows as they play their perfect melodies, always in harmony with nature. If you close your eyes just a little and drift, you can almost see the waves of the ocean flowing across their body as their muscles ripple in motion. They charge across the field in a fury with the force of a tsunami, then rest and gaze, still as a serene, glassed pond. This dichotomy of nature's gentle influence is revered in the majesty that is Equus.
"When God wished to create the horse, he said to the South Wind, 'I shall create thee a new being, and I will make him good fortune for my followers, humiliation to my enemies and protection for the obedient.' And the wind said, 'Create!' God condensed the wind and made from it a horse."
-- Emir Abd-el-Kader
All beings on the planet are experiencing significant climate change. Rather than be fearful or feel hopeless; take steps to lessen our carbon footprint, and to help our horses adjust to their changing environment. We will keep them healthy, resilient, and comfortable. There is no point in trying to avoid the discomfort of change. It is here now. As horse people, we have the strength and integrity to weather the storms.
This Month's Giveaway Winner
Linda Burke
is the October 2019 Winner of
one pair of Trek Hoof Boots from
Enter to Win: Cavallo Trek Hoof Boots

Cavallo is giving away a pair of their Trek Hoof Boots
to one lucky Best of America by Horseback subscriber every single month!

To enter, email Jess your name and state with the subject line "Enter Me to Win!"
Meet the Team - Lisa
Chisholm Trail 2020
Special Trail Riding Event!
Come along with Best of America by Horseback as we head back to the historic Chisholm Trail! This special five day trail riding event will be taking place in Clearwater, Kansas with the Clearwater Chisholm Trail Saddle Club next year, September 9-13, 2020. Ride a different leg of the Chisholm each day and return to the same camp each night for a variety of cattle activities, dutch oven cowboy cooking, live music, and so much more.

Call 540-829-9555 to reserve your place today!

Airing Now
Have you been watching the four part series capturing our incredible ride along the Chisholm Trail this past June? Each episode highlights different locations along the route from Caldwell to Wichita and some of the friends who rode with us.

Best of America by Horseback is seeking nominations for special recognition of inspirational people that have contributed so much to the riding and horse world. Nominees can be folks of any age or background; they do not have to be trail masters or even own a horse.

The Awards
Aileen Livingston Award  The Aileen Livingston Award is to honor one of the finest people we have ever known. We had the pleasure years ago to meet John Wayne and to spend a day with Roy Rogers, but it is Aileen Livingston that I tell people is my most inspiring hero. Her love of horses and trail riding is inspiring, and her compassion for life and those around her, even in the face of health issues, has no boundaries. Despite a dozen reasons not to go, she rode across the country with us, hopping and skipping from place to place, all the way to California.

Nominees should be someone with great heart, compassion, and incredible spirit that has done much for the horse world. It can be in therapeutic, riding, a club or just working on trails.
Liz Malcome Award  The Liz Malcome Award is given to someone in the horse world that helps others with compassion and dedication. Liz dreamt of riding across the country "while she still could." She and her sister, Kathy Baldwin, rode with us on the famous Mexico to Canada Trail Ride. Both of these ladies are extraordinary in so many ways and have done so much for so many people. Liz & Kathy devoted their lives to nursing, and Kathy organized a medical mission to the children in Belize. Their love of training and riding Tennessee Walking Horses is well known. Liz passed away several years ago and we felt, like so many of you, that she and Kathy were truly part of everyone's family.

Nominees should be people who inspire others to live out their dreams, no matter the odds, and to be of service to others.
Mike Phillips Award  The Mike Phillips Award is given to modern-day trailblazers. Mike was a trail boss and close friend on the Mexico to Canada Ride. Mike needed heart surgery but rode from old Mexico with us along the Rio Grande and continued every inch for over 1,000 miles until he had to go have his surgery. A friend without boundaries to me and so many others, he never stopped wanting to care for all around him and to help people in any way. He and his devoted wife, Wanda, spent many years with us traveling until he passed away several years ago. He helped Back Country Horsemen, worked the trails, and his love of horses and trail riding was endless. He overcame health issues to help all of us. This year's award will go to someone that Mike would have loved to spend countless hours with. The person we will name has done so much for all of us, and you will enjoy learning about that person.

Nominees should be trailblazers who inspire those around them to get involved in the equestrian community, whether through volunteer work, maintaining existing trails or building new ones, or advocating for our parks.
Do you know of someone in the horse community who deserves to win a Best of America by Horseback award?

Send your nomination to Tom at
Does Your Horse Respect You?
by Nancy Spoolstra, DVM

At the end of  Part Four  (read Parts  One Two  and  Three ) I decided to once again test Finn’s compliance by “sacking” him with a rattling hula hoop. At some point the plan is to put it over his head, but we are nowhere near that point yet. His response was similar to all the challenges that preceded this particular event…. He first complied, usually a couple of times, and then suddenly decided he was done. He was hard pressed to make a case for fear when he did it twice and then refused. When I would ask again, his response was to throw up his head, often accompanied by a slight rearing off the ground, and fly backwards. Each time he did that, I’d send him out to lunge. I’d lunge him awhile and try again. If he wouldn’t stand quietly and calmly and let me touch him with the hula hoop, but instead would rear backwards, out he went again to move his feet. One time I had total cooperation on the left side, but zero cooperation on his right side. That old adage of “different side, different horse” holds true sometimes! We kept at it until I had compliance, and that ended that session.
That was a couple of weeks ago, and we have had several round pen sessions since then. A couple have been easy, short and cooperative. Several have not…. Two weekends ago, we went horse camping. The horses were in individual stalls, and Finn handled being away from home just fine. Our first day of riding, we went 8 miles. All in all he did great. We rode down to the lake, and while he wasn’t at all interested in going in, he wasn’t too awful about being around the water. Kadeen wanted to drop and roll…. The next day, we decided to go for a short ride before we broke camp and headed home before the rain. We started down a different trailhead, and before we had gone any distance at all, Finn flipped around and put his butt towards the trail and very clearly relayed the message that he was NOT interested in doing that again. He was doing his slight rearing/hissy fit routine and I rode him right back to the trailer, jumped off and lunged him. After a while, we headed back to the trailhead. This time he decided to walk on, although not without hesitation. We didn’t go far that day, but he didn’t get his way.

Remember, I said I am a small animal veterinarian, not an equine veterinarian. The day after horse camping I hauled the horses to my friend the equine vet for vaccines, and she mentioned she thought he might be an ulcer horse. He certainly has the disposition to qualify. And interestingly enough, he had been resistant on more than one occasion to coming into his stall twice a day to eat his grain, and as hard as I was working him that was a cause for concern. At her suggestion I started treating him with GastroGuard. That was about a week ago, and he is now readily consuming his grain. He did seem to “settle” significantly, but a happier stomach did not totally transform his attitude.

Last weekend my boyfriend and I took both horses and all five dogs and went to his lake house for a weekend of boating AND horseback riding. (Rough life, I know, but someone has to do it…) The horses were settled in an electric pen, and that was new to all of us. They did fine. Their pen was located in an area where trucks, boats, golf carts and bicycles were a regular occurrence. All part of Finn’s education. On Sunday, we rode the trails at Pomme de Ridge horse camp. And the trails included water.

I did manage to get him to cross (read: jump) one small creek, and then we walked down to the river. More tantrums…. More slight rearing off the ground. I’d dismount, and move his feet and remount. He’d comply momentarily, then balk again. Eventually I got him in the water. (The side story here is that my phone ended up in the water too, but thankfully only for a few minutes and apparently it IS waterproof!) We returned to the trailer after about 5 miles. Kadeen was only wet under his saddle blanket. Finn was dripping. My boyfriend Alan quipped that at least Finn would load easily as surely he was ready to go home. Not so…. More fight to load, until I again moved his feet and got in his face and VOILA! Into the trailer he’d go.

The next day we rode around the campground and neighborhoods near Alan’s lake house. Finn found several things to balk about, and each time if he’d respond by rearing, I’d dismount and move his feet. When the topography allowed, I cantered him in circles. He didn’t like that at all, and he clearly transmitted that he wouldn’t mind one bit if he and I parted ways. Eventually he’d do as I asked. At the end of the second day I was tired and really, really missing my easy horse.
Alan reminds me often (at my request) that I really haven’t been working at this for too long and to be patient and give it time. When I look at how AWESOME Kadeen is doing with Alan, I remember how many fights I had with Kadeen and realize I will get there with Finn, but it is work. Last night Alan and I went to a baseball game and as I got out of the car, I noticed I was stiff…. Stiff in the muscles I use when riding. I remembered how much squeezing, pushing, directing and insisting went on two days prior when Finn was resisting me. No surprise I was sore.

I am not a young person and I’d really like to get through this, but I am committed to staying the course until we get where we need to be. While horse camping a couple of weeks ago, I had a friend tell me she was reading this blog and she needed to do the same thing with her horse. Her companion echoed that sentiment and then they both acknowledged how much they disliked ground work. I don’t know, does anyone like ground work? My round pen is a dust bowl when it hasn’t rained in a few days. That same weekend of horse camp, another lady rode her horse over to where I was before she dismounted, as her horse was misbehaving and she needed the distraction/security of another horse around when she dismounted. I totally understand why she did that, but the reality is that her horse needed to be looking to HER for guidance and reassurance, not another horse.

So where are you on this journey? Does your horse look to you for guidance, reassurance and confidence? And should something happen as you make this journey of discovery with your horse, have you taken all the precautions you can to stay safe? Do you wear a helmet? Do you ride with a buddy? Do you have medical information readily available should you or your horse become injured? I really encourage you to put in the work that is necessary to build this relationship with your horse. It is really worth it. And please stay safe while doing so.
This is part five of the five part series Does Your Horse Respect You? You can read more on Nancy's blog here .

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Tom Seay's Tennessee Log Home is For Sale
Jamestown, Tennessee is known for horses and trail riding with The Big South Fork Recreation Area, East Fork Stables, Pickett State Park and other nearby horse camping areas.
Tom’s log home is in the gated equestrian community known as “The Highlands”. This community has 23 miles of designated horse trails on private property that will always be there and open to The Highlands property owners. These shaded trails lead riders through the woods, past streams and natural outcroppings with beautiful views of the gorge. Other equestrian communities have no trails with only access to trails on neighboring properties that could one day be closed to horses. The trails in The Highlands community will be there for the property owners in perpetuity!
A large, open front porch greets visitors as they approach. The log home has gorgeous high ceilings with wood beams and natural wood floors. An open floor plan makes this cabin great for entertaining friends and family, and wood cabinets in the kitchen add to the home's rustic feel. There is a beautiful natural gas stove in the living room that conveys with the home.
The Master bedroom is downstairs and features carpet and lots of natural light. The en suite bathroom features a large vanity and sink, and a full size bathtub and shower. The home's washer and dryer are also conveniently located in the Master bathroom.  
Master bedroom
Master bathroom
Upstairs, there are two carpeted bedrooms with dormer storage, an open area overlooking the living spaces downstairs with wood floors between the bedrooms that could be made into a nice seating/office area, and a full bathroom with a large vanity, sink, and a full bathtub and shower.
The back of the cabin has a large covered porch that faces the horse barn-- it's perfect for relaxing in the evenings after a long day of riding. There is a two stall barn (with turn out paddocks in the rear) and a storage area located behind the home. You can see your horses from the house. The trail head to 23 miles of private horse trails is just beside the barn. 
Tom Seay's Log Cabin
Jamestown, TN
Sale Price - $299,000
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Please email any questions or inquiries directly to Tom Seay at
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November 5 Norco, CA "Horse Town USA"
November 7 The Chisholm Trail - Part 4 | NEW!
November 12 The Chisholm Trail - Part 4 | NEW!
November 14 Circle Z Ranch in AZ
November 19 Circle Z Ranch in AZ
November 21 Trail Ride Location Spotlights | NEW!
November 26 Trail Ride Location Spotlights | NEW!
November 28 The Bar X Ranch in Medora, ND | NEW!