Girls Horse Club Blog

August 15th

Published by • Aug 15th, 2009 • Category: GHC News

Girls Horse Club NewsDear Horse Girls,

Wondering what happened to your LeadMare? Everyday life in the real world (including horse time, of course), behind-the-scenes competition activity, and keeping you fed with fresh content from our JBs has me moving at a steady canter. But an update from the office of our virtual barn is long overdue, so please graze on. For the inquiring minds who want to know, information about our recent poll is included at the end.

Thanks for reading!


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COMPETITION UPDATE. Can you believe the entry deadline is a week from tomorrow? So far we have more than 60 90 qualified entries! As you can imagine, our judges are very busy ladies.

If you’re waiting until the last minute to send your story, a word of caution: The barn mice are doing everything possible to assure no technical glitches as the deadline approaches. But if a bunch of you come galloping toward the finish at the same time, it’s possible some may get left behind when the entry gates close. Please keep this in mind — entries close at noon Pacific Time on Sunday August 23rd.

I want say a special thank you to our most senior Junior Blogger, Madelaina. (Wait, should we be calling her a Senior Blogger?) Before the competition started, our Australian horse sister volunteered to help with behind-the-scenes logistics. Madelaina’s unwavering kindness, generosity, and commitment to GHC is HUGELY appreciated. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hooves!

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POLL RESULTS. Some of you have asked about answers to the recent poll. Here’s what my research says…


TRUE. (23% of voters said this was false.) From the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit The Horse: “Horses, humans and all other mammals share a common ancestor—one with five toes. So how did horses end up with single-toed hooves? Over millions of years, many horse species lost most of their side toes. The middle toe evolved into a single large hoof, while the other toes became smaller and ultimately functionless.”


TRUE. (23% of voters said this was false.) From the Wikipedia article about the respiratory system of a horse: “A flap of tissue called the soft palate blocks off the pharynx from the mouth (oral cavity) of the horse, except when swallowing. This helps to prevent the horse from inhaling food, but does not allow use of the mouth to breathe when in respiratory distress, a horse can only breathe through its nostrils.”

Keep this in mind from 10 Horse Facts Every Equinest Should Know at the Equinest: “Horses can’t breath through their mouth, they can only breath through their nose, so make sure that noseband fits properly…”


TRUE. (20% of voters said this was false.) From American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit The Horse: “Horses have a strong instinct to form groups in which some horses lead and others follow. A typical family group consists of one male, several females and their offspring. The male stallion fights off predators and rival stallions, but the leader of day-to-day activities is usually a female. This lead mare decides where the group should go and punishes misbehavior…”


TRUE? (14% of voters said this was false.) It’s commonly understood that horses can’t vomit because their esophagus only goes one way (down) and the entrance to the stomach has a muscle that allows food to go in but not out. That’s why colic is so deadly.

However, some sources say horses have been known to vomit on rare occasions, primarily just prior to or after death. In the article Veterinary Topics: A Long Way From Entry to Exit retired veterinarian Brent Kelley says, “There is a band of smooth muscle around the esophagus where it enters the stomach. This muscle usually prevents a horse from being able to vomit. In school, we were told that a horse will vomit only when death is near, but I once saw a mare vomit and she did not die. Recently, I read a statement that said, ‘Vomiting [in a horse] is rare,’ so I guess it does occur at times other than at impending death.”

On the other hand, the Wikipedia article on equine nutrition says: “The digestive system of the horse is somewhat delicate. Horses are unable to regurgitate food, except from the esophagus. Thus, if they overeat or eat something poisonous, vomiting is not an option.”

What do you know? If you have any research to help inform us, please chime in.


FALSE. (20% of voters said this was false.) From the Wikipedia article on the circulatory system of the horse: “The average adult horse has a 3.6 Kg (8.5 lb) heart, although it can be more than twice this size…” Also from the Ultimate Horse Site article Horse Anatomy Facts, “A horse’s heart weighs about 10 pounds…”

Do you like polls that challenge your noggin? New poll suggestions are welcome via the email link at the bottom of any page.

23 Nickers »

  1. WOOO HOOO Thanks Leadmare! Lets hear a joyous round of winnies and nickers for Madelania and our judges!!!! You guys rock the barn!!!

    Madelania- im sure the wild brumbies of Australia and horses of America thank you for each and every effort you put into their cause!!! Right on mate! Champion job to all your horse girls!!!


  2. :D Cant wait for the competition results to come! But I feel bad for the authors reading the entries lol . Yay Madelaina!

  3. Winnies and nickers to Madelaina! And our judges of course.

    -Yay, I got the poll right. Lol. I don’t think horses can vomit. But I can’t be sure.

  4. Thank You Leadmare for the updates.
    Thank You judges!
    And huge Thank You to Madelaina. You have been a huge to me as well.

  5. I should be the one thanking everyone! Helping out with the competition is a new and inspiring experience. It’s the least I can do in return for all that Girls Horse Club and its writers have given me. Nickers to LeadMare for keeping up with everything! Sincere thanks for all of your efforts dedicated to the fiction competition :)

  6. I CANT WAIT TO READ THE WINNING STORIY! (if my grammer is bad over the next week just know I am on vacation and writing on a DS eye so I cant always find the right thingys.)


  7. whoaahh. you can go on the internet with the ds i?

  8. Thanks everyone (: And good luck to everyone else who entered the competition! Sorry I haven’t done anything in a while, I was at camp and then last week I was at the stables everyday with Glory (I’m training her in jumping and she’s training me :P) and we had a show on friday.

  9. Wouldn’t you only think horses had 5 toes at one time if you believed in Evolution?

  10. Nevada Sunshine, the basis of the scientific perspective about early horses comes from the paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, a professor of vertebrate paleontology at Yale University. He and his ‘bone hunters’ found fossils of many prehistoric species, including dinosaurs and early horses, in the American West in the 19th century. The early horse fossils had 3 or 4 toes. Evidence indicates these horses grazed on leaves in forests where the ground was wet, and the toes helped them have better balance.

  11. Since GHC is open but we are respectful of other people’s belief Nevada Sunshine, i would say that anything is possible with God. However, my personal belief is that the “first Horse” was indeed a species of horse related to the domestic horse of today. Like how the wild donkey and zebra are cousins of the horse. However they are one animal i mean i never saw a horse having a pig. I do realize people are not always going to see the same as me. This was an interesting poll Leadmare, thanks for postin it!


  12. wow,60 entries. I dont have a chance!!! :)

  13. <:

  14. Peanut you have just as much a chance as everyone one who enters. I strongly urge you to keep a possitive outlook. Have fun with it! =0) I’m not sure if ill win or not; yeah the prizes are great but there’ll always be another competition. Good luck to ya mates!

  15. WOW — we now have more than 90 qualified entries, and more in the queue. We may break 100 before entries close tomorrow.

    Horse girls, you’re AMAZING!!!

  16. YES YES YES!! whooo hoo 100 would be a champion goal! I hope it happens!!! There are soo many great writers out there. Leadmare-you said boys could write to is that correct? My brother was wanting to know.. =0)

  17. Yes HF, the competition is not restricted to girls — horse guys are welcome too. The prizes are kinda girly, but if he wins that could work to your benefit. :)

    BTW the judges are telling me they’re amazed by all the stories, and that deciding on winners is going to be VERY tough…

  18. Yay! :D Hey, I’m just curious: what’s the next contest going to be?

  19. Just a heads-up: There’s now a ‘GHC News Nickers’ box on the sidebar (below Nickers). With the behind-the-scenes competition activity in full swing it’s tough to find time to do a regular news blog, but I’ll keep you fed with nibbles of news there.

  20. i am sooooo excited to read the winning stories! i am counting down the days(not kidding) till the winners are announced and the stories are posted! i bet some great stories are out there, and i especially cant wait to read violet inkpen’s, cause she deserves to win!

  21. LeadMare and HorseFeathers- I didn’t mean to say that anyone who’s religion consists of the idea of Evolution is crazy. I didn’t mean that, it’s hard to say what I meant actually. I was about to say how I think horses came about and such, but I decided it was better to not say, since I don’t think flaunting my beliefs is the best way to go.

  22. Nevada Sunshine, thanks for clarifying. Be assured your comment wasn’t taken that way. Personally, I strive to live my beliefs so don’t feel the need to speak (or write) them, and prefer to present info in a journalistic way so individuals can interpret from their personal perspective. After all, no one likes to be told how to think or what to believe.

    We all have different backgrounds and educations that result in different perspectives. That’s what makes us uniquely wonderful. Regardless of our differences, at GHC we’re connected through (at least) one thing—our common love for horses. YAY to horses for that gift!

  23. Nevada Oh i know you didn’t mean anything hurtful by your comments. Its great to see a strong faith in others. Ive just learned that in a virtual world the other person cant see your facial expessions or know you personaly… thats why i have to watch what I type cause i could say one thing and mean another… good luck with the competition!