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The skinny

The skinny: Ranches getting bigger horses to accommodate bigger American riders

Wide west

bigger horses needed for bigger riders

Wranglers in the West have for decades cashed in on the allure of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail. Now they're having to add bigger horses to their stables to help carry larger tourists. The ranches say they are using draft horses, the diesels of the horse world, in ever greater numbers to make sure they don't lose out on income from potential customers of any size. Ranch operators say they began adding the bigger horses in the 1990s, but the pace has picked up in recent years. In the past 20 years, obesity has increased to more than a third of adults and about 17 percent of youth ages 2 to 19, according to federal statistics. The bigger horses have allowed outfitters to eliminate weight limits for customers.

Sweet results

Test takers fueled by Mountain Dew

A Brevard County elementary school has stopped a long-standing practice of serving students Mountain Dew before standardized tests. Florida Today reports a woman contacted the media after learning students were being served three tablespoons of soda in a small paper cup and some trail mix before taking the FCAT. Brevard County schools spokeswoman Michelle Irwin says officials at Creel Elementary School have been told to provide only water to students. Irwin says principal Kathryn Eward started serving soda and trail mix about 10 years ago after reading about its positive effect on students taking tests. Eward says it was part of an effort to get kids excited about the FCAT, the newspaper reports. Students now get water and trail mix.

Hot wheels

Suspected car thief easy to find

Police say a man was arrested after using a stolen car to get to a court appearance in Sonora, Calif. James Manning was taken into custody after police received a call from an auto dealership in Redding reporting that the vehicle was stolen. The 2001 Mitsubishi's GPS indicated it was parked in front of the Tuolumne County courthouse. The 49-year-old Manning and his wife were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.

The skinny: Ranches getting bigger horses to accommodate bigger American riders 04/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:30pm]
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