Wednesday, March 24, 2010

...Became a Fan of "My Arms Will Fall Off Before My Horse's Winter Coat Does!"

Oh, wait. This isn't Facebook!

Seriously, someone should create this group if it hasn't been created yet. I would but after all that grooming who has the energy?

The weather here in the WNC mountains is not helping much. Sixty five and sunny one day, 35 and snowing the next...poor Leg man can't decide if he should hold onto his coat or lose it.

I say lose it. I'll blanket you at forty degrees out if necessary, but for the love of all that is good and decent in this great world lose that fur!

It's not a vanity issue (although I do admit that I greatly prefer Legs' shiny, coppery summer coat to his dull, red winter one) it's a health issue. Because with the return of wildly varying temperatures, barn swallows, and hay fever comes the return of "The Rot". Rain Rot that is.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
You TB owners - and TB owners living in damp climates particularly - know what I'm talking about. The Rot, once it makes itself at home, is a tough bitch to get rid of.

So I continue to brush until I'm lightheaded, my nostrils clogged with hair, and love every minute of it because this yearly ritual signifies the coming of Spring (for real, though Legs tried to tell you so).

It really is a ritual, isn't it? All horse people seem to have their little routines, the preferred way to go about things. Here is my preferred method of spring shedding:

  • Curry comb
  • Brush
  • Shedding blade
  • Brush
  • Repeat after riding.

Despite my best efforts, The Rot does make an appearance once or twice a year. The most popular locations on Legs are:

  • Hind legs

  • Spine

  • Butt cheeks

I do apologize for my use of the phrase "butt cheeks", but really how else to describe?

Even a dime-sized area of Something-That-Might-Be-The-Rot will send me into full Rot Battle Mode. I have at my disposal a full arsenal of Rot Fighting products. I've found out through extensive (unfunded of course) research that The Rot, despite its horrid reputation, is actually very easy going. It can adapt and adjust to many adverse living conditions.

Perhaps we can learn something from The Rot? Perhaps. I still don't want it on my horse.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Little Stroll Through Time

Actually, would you mind if I exercised my inner child for a bit? It has been a long and boring winter...Ready?

Keep in mind I have already said this is childish...

Today, my husband tracked wood shavings into the house.

I only bring it up because the tracking in of wood shavings has been a source of contention here and there in our marriage. Not in a bad way, in a we'll-laugh-our-asses-off-about-this-later way. We all have our weirdnesses.

Here is photographic evidence of the said shavings:

The dog hair seen in the photograph has been included to show the approximate shape and size of the shavings. Love ya babe, but you are busted!

Digressing is a habit that can become addictive.
Here are the pictures I got from Mom & Dad's this past weekend. I want to call this series "The Horse Gene"

I posted this one a while back. Mom & Tar Baby.

Here is the one I was thinking about in that post. Mom & hackney type driving pony:

Flash forward 20 years. Mom and "Big Red Fred" her long time pal. They were quite the team! I will have to do their own post someday. Are those rust colored breeches? They are!

Present Day
Here is Mom and Miss Mary May!

OK, so the dressage pic is with a trainer on her, but damn she looks good there!

Mom and Mary are quite the team too. Of course Mom grew up in the irons and has always been able to sit a horse well. There were some that she clicked with more than others, and in a life full of horses it is those that we all remember even if we were only outsiders looking in.

And just so Chef knows I'm not really upset at his shaving accusations, here is a really cool pic we found online. The dapper gentleman in front is his grandfather.

Monday, March 15, 2010

WARNING! Shameless Self-Promoting Post Ahead!

Maybe it's not exactly "Self" promotion, and maybe I really am just too proud of myself for figuring out how to post YouTube videos, but this contest really is just too cool! So...all you outdoorsy types sign up and pass it on!

I am working on another post with LOTS of cool photos (stolen from Mom & Dad's this past weekend) and will return to regular posting soon!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Honorary Horse People

I have been wanting to do this post for a while, but it requires some visual effects and I could not for the life of me figure out how to post YouTube videos. And I'm too shy to ask. Then...

...FINALLY GOT IT! Guess it was what you would call a "lightbulb moment." It's always about HTML, isn't it?

I've been thinking about lightbulb moments a lot this week and will explain what I mean by that in a future post regarding lightbulb moments. But not today.

Today, it is about other weirdos and their lightbulb momements.

Who was the first person to think of racing a crapper down a slippery slope?

Who first thought "I can build a faster outhouse!"

And to the innovators who said "it's not enought to go fast in a house of crap! We must look good doing it!" to them, I say, "Bravo!"

So without (too much) further ado...

Honorary Horse People - March 2010
Outhouse Racers of Concunully, WA

Bless you one and all, citizens of Concunully, Washington. And congratulations on being the very first winners of the soon-to-be-coveted HorsePeopleAreWeird (HPAW)Honorary HorsePeople Award.

That was fun. Oh please, please let spring come soon!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Hierarchy Unraveled. Or, The Big Guy Finally Stands Up For Himself. Or, Where is a Camera When You Need One?

First a quick note to Those Who Scoffed At My Last Post (you know who you are!). OK. I admit I am looking out at the 10" of snow that we got yesterday. Still...that does not mean Legs is wrong. He only predicts that spring is coming, not how soon it will get here. So there!

Second, I need to preface this post with a bit of information on the hierarchy of our little herd.

Dusty: 14.3 hand, 22 year old palomino QH. He is our alpha, and damn good at it! Best alpha I have ever known. He keeps the others in line by acting like he will rip them to shreds, but never actually makes contact. If the farm were a high school, Dusty would be the squat but powerful jock type that everyone fears, but few know well.

Skylar: 15 hand, 7 year old palomino QH. Skylar is Mr. Popularity. Friends to all, be they human, horse, cat, or dog. Both Dusty and Skylar belong to V. She had a thing for Trigger growing up :o)

Zachary: 6 month old 150 lb. mini-donkey. Kind of like the kid brother who is always hanging around. And finally...

Legs: 16.1 hand, 21 year old chestnut OTTB. A.K.A "Leg Man", "Oucho Marx", and "The One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Chestnut Carrot Eater" (Pic at right is before we removed that left eye...he's still just as cute!). Legs is the recluse, the introvert. He's a lover, not a fighter.

Yes, you have read this hierarchy correctly. Though good buddies with Skylar, Legs is decidedly the low man on the totem pole. Even below Zachary; the little booger regularly chases the Big Man off his hay pile. Guess those big ears can be pretty scary when pinned back.

That may have changed this morning. We'd thrown out extra hay due to the aforementioned snow, and because temps were supposed to linger around freezing until early afternoon, everyone went out in their blankets. I was in the barn banging ice out of the water buckets when I heard V yelling out back, something along the lines of "Put him down!".

I ran out to see what happened and saw Legs standing protectively over a pile of hay, calmly holding the tail flap of Zachary's blanket in his teeth. Poor Zach's front legs were still on the ground, but his back legs were kicking uselessly in the air.

I'm not a mother in the traditional sense, though I consider my dogs, cat, and horse to be my "children." I'm not sure if the mixture of horror and pride that I felt would be a natural maternal response to seeing a child - previously bullied by all - suddenly stand up for himself. Still, Zachary is one-tenth Legs' size. Is this something to be proud of?

Yet proud I was, especially when Legs, with a sigh of resignation, did set Zach down and push him away. No harm, no foul. Only time will tell if this new hierarchy will stick. My only real fear now is that Zachary's back hooves would land at Legs' knee level if he were so inclined to retaliate.

Because no one got hurt, V and I did share a laugh over the whole situation. And where the heck is a camera when you need one? $10,000 buys s lot of alfalfa!