Tag Archives: strength

Just for Grins – Biggest police horse

Priefert's Radar, Belgian gelding, who was tallest horse from 2006 - 2009

Priefert’s Radar is owned by Priefert Ranch Equipment

What if Radar was a police horse? He’d probably be the biggest police horse in the world.

In 2008 a Belgian gelding named “Priefert’s Radar” was the tallest horse. Radar was born in Iowa in 1998 and grew up to be listed in the Guiness World Record book from 2006 to 2009.

Radar’s even bigger than the horse in this week’s “Just for Grins” video.

Officer Lloyd Douglas,  Sgt. Howard Mason, and Sgt. Chal DeCecco use a ladder as a mounting block to ride this large Belgian horse named “Hercules” at the California State Fair in 2008.

Hercules the Police horse ridden by three officers at California State Fair 2008

Hercules the Police horse ridden by three officers at California State Fair 2008

Uploaded by  on Mar 10, 2010

Priefert's Radar, Belgian gelding - tallest horse in world 2006 - 2009

Photo by Drew Gardner

Radar’s photos aren’t on the Priefert website anymore, but I’d saved some off years ago using photos of Radar as my desktop wallpaper. Just like Hercules the Police Horse, you would need a 6 foot ladder as a mounting block for Radar.

At 6 feet 7 1/2 inches at top of withers he would just squeeze through an average door frame in height by ducking down his head. Horses are measured in a unit of measurement called a ”hand”, which is 4 inches. This made Radar measured as the tallest horse in 2008 at 19 hands 3 1/2 inches. He weighed in at 2,400 pounds.

“You don’t realize how big they are until you’re holding onto their halter.”  – Charles Woods (3)

Priefert’s Radar is owned by Priefert. Radar definitely earned his keep touring the country to promote Priefert products. He travelled up to 30,000 miles a year in an air-conditioned, customized horse trailer with a canine companion called Hoss and his handlers, Guilda and Charles Woods. Every 4 – 6 weeks Radar returned to Mount Pleasant, Texas, the home of Priefert, to take a break from travelling.

Radar could eat 40 pounds of hay, 18 pounds of grain, then wash that down with 20 gallons of water each day.

“He’s our PR horse. He’s been promoted from labor to management, and he’s paid all the grain and feed he wants. It’s just like feeding two or three horses in one feeding.” – Charles Woods  (1)

“Radar is really smooth to ride at the walk and slow trot, but the faster he goes, the rougher he gets. Riding him is definitely an experience.” – Guilda Woods (2)

Radar had to “go large or go home” and Priefert retired him when another horse took the World Record. Radar joined another Priefert owned former tallest horse, a black Percheron gelding named Goliath, in Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Radar, sorrel Belgian gelding: Limited Edition Breyer Model 2010

Radar was honored by Breyer Model horses in 2010 as a Limited Edition. As a horseless child I played with a the plastic Breyer horses instead of dolls, including a family of Palomino draft horses.

Priefert brought Radar out of retirement to attend BreyerFest at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Radar, sorrel Belgian gelding is former largest horse in the world at Breyerfest 2010.

Radar at Breyerfest 2010 – Photo by Appaloosa on Flickr
(Creative Commons License)

I’m glad that Priefert has such beautiful draft horses to promote their products. Priefert makes great horse panels. We have a set of  Priefert brown 10 foot utility panels with walk-thru gate as fencing for a paddock area for our two Icelandic horses. The panels are  sturdy well made safe and definitely ”worth-the-money” horse panels! I hope I can get to meet Radar someday. It would take 3 of our Icelandics to add up to the weight of Radar.

Priefert has a set of Percheron geldings called “Texas Thunder” that tours.

Priefert's Radar, Belgian gelding - tallest horse in world 2006 - 2009

Photo by Drew Gardner

(1) The Salt Lake Tribune “High horse? Radar’s the highest” by Arrin Newton Brunson published September 13, 2006

(2) Ag Weekly ‘World’s tallest horse tours Utah/Idaho’ by Susan Dudasik published July 27, 2007

(3) Rexburg Standard “The World’s Biggest Horse visits Rexburg” by Joseph Law published August 31, 2007

(4) Rural Heritage Horse Paddock

Priefert on Facebook

Priefert Utility Panel video

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Just for Grins – “It must be the water”

It Must Be The Water. Vittel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys standing by horses at starting gate

The clever and funny TV commercial advertisement titled ‘Horse Riding’ was done by Ogilvy & Mather Paris advertising agency for Vittel Water in France. It was released in December 2009. Race horses love to run, but what horse might not like to take it easy once in awhile. Jockeys drink some Vittel water before the race and horse racing takes on a whole different method.

Vittel is a French brand of bottled water sold in many countries. Since 1992 it has been owned by Nestlé Waters, Water Division of the Swiss group Nestlé.

The Vosges basin in France is home to several sources of natural mineral water. The city of Vittel , thanks to the virtues of its natural mineral water, is also a city of thermal baths. Louis Bouloumié in 1855 created a health spa in the city of Vittel, then later the natural mineral water was bottled.  It belonged to the founding family, the Bouloumié, for four generations.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys preparing for race with horses on their backs

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs to race

Video length: 32 seconds
“Pub Vittel: la course hippique” – Horse race
Uploaded by  on Sep 7, 2009

There are a series of “It Must Be the Water” ads, which are all very funny. They are on the same Youtube channel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs for race come to finish line

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockey of brown horse is the winner

Vittel Water advertisement: Proud jockey with flowers around his neck holds his racing trophy of a "man carrying horse"

A longer version of the advertisement at these 2 sites:
Video length: 1:00 minute
Autoplay site: http://www.funnyplace.org/stream/vittel-race-13602/
Non-autoplay site: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/tv/vittel_horse_riding

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, France
Copywriters: Christian Foulon,, Fergus O’hare, Andrew Jolliffe
Art directors: Stephanie Surer, Ginevra Capece
Director: Lionel Goldstein
Production: Henry de Czar, Paris
Post-production company: Nozon
Editor: Manu Van Hove Agency
Producer: Caroline Petruccelli
Executive Producer: Jeanluc Bergeron
Director of Photography: Glynn Speeckaert
Sound Design: Kouz Production

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Exercises to improve balance Level 6

These are exercises that I am using to improve my balance. I practice several times a day. The goal of the exercises is to improve my overall body proprioception and balance, as well as strength in my legs. Balancing will also improve core body strength.

The exercises increase in difficulty as balance improves. Hold onto something if necessary to maintain balance. I have used holding onto a chair, touching a wall, holding onto a low hanging tree branch, touching my foot on a step, and holding a broom handle.

With my eyes closed I am still mostly working on Level 1 and 2, but raising my leg higher.  With my eyes open I am working on improving at Level 3 and 4 and adding in more time at Level 5 exercises.

I am ready to begin adding in some Level 6 exercises.

Level 6: Stand on a soft surface like a foam pillow or balance cushion with both feet starting with exercises from Level 1.

– Keep practicing and advancing in difficulty repeating all the levels till you are standing on one foot with your eyes closed and able to move your foot in all directions.

* Please read my disclaimer.

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DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

If you exercise beyond your abilities, then 24 to 72 hours later you may experience  ‘Delayed On-set Muscle Soreness‘ or ‘DOMS’. The pain and stiffness is likely the result of tiny muscle fiber tears. The body will recover and build up strength in rebuilding the muscles after a few days. Gentle massage and stretching can help ease the discomfort. Resting the muscles is a good option.

I learned the term ‘DOMS’ on a vacation trip to Canada when we hiked 3.5 miles from the parking lot of the hotel on Lake Louise B.C. to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. Coming back down the 3.5 miles my legs were turning into quivering jelly. I’m surprised we managed to do the hike. We most definitely overdid that day. Two days later we were hobbling around in agony.

View overlooking hotel on Lake Louise, B.C. from hiking back from Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse

Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse Hike: View overlooking Lake Louise, B.C. (Photo by IcieMeg)


Unfortunately I’m finding it is very easy to over use my muscles. Two weeks ago I made myself rather sore twice with DOMS. I slathered on Ultra Strength BenGay, used my heating pad and took Ibuprofen.

First overused my upper legs. Our ground is a mix of red clay and sand intermixed with sandstone. I was out in the yard noting more small sandstone rocks brought to the surface by wind and rain. I usually bend to pick these up. My bending over muscles are good from poop scooping chores. I decided to use deep knee bends because am needing to practice this exercise to build up the muscle strength to help me mount my horses from the ground. I managed about 15 deep knee bends while walking around the backyard picking up the stones. A couple of days later paid the price with pain and stiffness in my legs that made it painful to even walk.

Little girl trying to balance on a ball (Photo by Sharon Mollerus on Flickr)

Photo by Sharon Mollerus on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

My legs being sore didn’t prevent me from sitting. Another day tried sitting on a stability ball as my office chair for about 2 hours to work on my posture and balance. I had no idea that I was overdoing so badly because sitting on a balance ball is hard work. It didn’t feel like hard work, but my muscles were firing constantly to keep my balance. This resulted in very sore shoulders and stiff neck with a headache, as well as areas on my back and hips.

Being so sore, the main exercise for last week was only to spend a few moments during the day to stretch out my right knee and shin, as well as practicing balancing on one foot. From my prior post of “Yoga on a sheet” I had noted that my right knee and right shin to ankle and down over top of my foot is very stiff. I can’t think of why this part of my body became so stiff and why my left side isn’t stiff. I did injure my right knee this summer, so maybe that is the reason.

In upcoming posts I will discuss how to stretch out the shin muscles and about using a balance ball as a chair.

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New Year challenge

I have done easy yoga stretches for the last several days. Now I plan to work on a New Years Yoga Challenge by Esther Ekhart. The challenge is to do 10 Sun Salutations in a row.  Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 postures (asanas) performed in a single, graceful flow. The original challenge starts with one Sun Salutation on the first day. Two Sun Salutations on day 2 and so on… building up to 10 in a row.

This challenge gives a good goal and structure for making slow changes to build strength, stamina and flexibility. My goal is to do the 10 Sun Salutations, but I will break the challenge into smaller steps. I will also modify the poses to easier versions, as Esther’s example is by someone already flexible. Ultimate goal is to do the full 10 Sun Salutations with good flexibility and strength. It’s a big goal. I’m also going to attempt to talk my husband into joining in. That may be the biggest challenge. LOL!

First… I will review and learn the asanas, then begin to put them together into one complete Sun Salutation.  Next I will begin the original challenge, but will proceed as slowly as necessary in order to do the 10 in a row without strain.

Here is the Sun Salutation challenge:

Will continue learning about the human skeletal system, as visualizing and understanding the bones will help achieve proper form and posture.

That is my modified slowed down challenge. Maybe you want to try this too. There will be upcoming posts that will follow along with my learning and progress.

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Plan of action – Human

Improve flexibility, strength, and balance.


– Exercises recommended for rider fitness

  • Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian
    by Mary D. Midkiff
  • The Rider’s Fitness Program
    by Dianna Robin Dennis, John J. McCully, Paul M. Juris
  • A Gymnastic Riding System using Mind, Body and Spirit
    by Betsy Steiner with Jennifer O. Bryant

– Yoga

  • Yoga for Equestrians: A New Path for Achieving Union with the Horse
  • by Linda Benedik and Veronica Wirth

  • I have enjoyed the Namaste Yoga tv series.
    I will begin with their basic warmup/cool down exercises. This style of yoga is called Hatha Vinyasa yoga that emphasizes a flowing style focusing on breathing through the movements. The show is very relaxing with soothing music and lovely background locations. The ladies are inspiring.Sample video of warmup:

Improve stamina and aerobic conditioning

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Walking on treadmill
  • Horse chores

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Plan of action – Horse

Improve flexibility, strength, and balance.

– Stretching postures as tricks (clicker training method)
– Lunging and in-hand ground work program

  • Dancing with Horses: The Art of Body Language
    by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling
  • Connect with Your Horse from the Ground Up
    by Peggy Cummings with Bobbie Jo Lieberman
  • Horse Training In-Hand: A Modern Guide to Working from the Ground
    by Ellen Schuthof-Lesmeister & Kip Mistral
  • Lunging program (attempting to translate from German using Google Translate)

This is an article about the program.

– Equine Fitness program of stretching / massage

  • Equine Fitness by Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • Beyond Horse Massage by Jim Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold
  • TTEAM from Linda Tellington Jones

I’ll be posting links to available videos that have examples of the exercises for myself and my horses. Will be discussing from my personal library of DVDs, books and magazines.

Improve stamina & aerobic conditioning.

  • Horse hiking
  • Riding at a walk (even 4 beat gait while build up strength)

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