Despite technical problems with the Carnival platform, we got some great posts for this month’s Carnival. I love seeing some new blogs represented here, along with some old favorites. So, welcome to the March 5th edition of the Blog Carnival of Horses.
Having been frozen out of riding most of the last month, it seems like reading about riding is going to be my best bet. I hope you are living in a place a bit more amenable than New England!
I found the post on How to Publish Your Horse Book of particular interest as I’ve been working on my equestrian-themed novel for a couple of years now. I’m almost finished with the first draft and starting to wonder what to do next. And I absolutely LOVE the photo on the post about floating a horse’s teeth. I’ve never been able to get a photo as good as that when our tooth fairy comes to the barn.
Fran Jurga presents Research: Colorado State Study Helps Identify Risk Factors Associated with Post-anesthesia Colic posted at The Jurga Report.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the horses using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. And keep your fingers crossed that the software works next month.
It’s always nice to see the happy, smiling faces of your horses when you drive up to the barn.
The problem I had yesterday is that Freedom and Zelda are not turned out together. At least they are not supposed to be in the same pasture. And up until now, they never have been.
However, when I arrived, the fencing between the two paddocks was down and the horses had played musical chairs with their turnout. Freedom and Willow were over at the Red Barn with Zelda and Charlie and Curly were at the Gray Barn.
The good news? No blood and all horses were walking on four legs and looked sound. The bad news? Due to the cold weather, the plastic step in posts that used to hold up the electric had snapped in half. The worse news? The ground was like cement. Not the ideal situation for making fencing repairs.
Luckily, when I found the problem it was still only 3:30 in the afternoon so I had enough daylight left to plan out my options.
Freedom was mighty pleased with the arrangement. As far as he’s concerned, the mares are all his, and Zelda is just the latest to join his herd. His vote was to leave the fencing down but maybe remove Charlie to another planet. Although I have never seen him act aggressively toward Charlie, I have also noticed that the times when they’ve been out together, Charlie is banished to the far reaches of the turnout.
Zelda? Well she looked skeptical. She certainly wasn’t aggressive toward Freedom; rather she had the air of a long-standing beauty queen who is just a bit tired of the devotion of her fan club. She retreated to the sanctity of her stall and so I shut her in with some hay.
Willow? Frankly, she looked annoyed. She’s supposed to be Freedom’s main squeeze and she wasn’t taking kindly to being the third wheel. She looked relieved when Zelda retreated to her own space.
Charlie? He didn’t make a fuss when I put him back into his own turnout.
I think he’d gotten the message that Freedom was not letting him near Zelda or Willow, and he was probably just as glad to stay away, since he and Zelda try to boss each other around.
As for Curly? She’s the non-confrontational one. She waited until I’d restored order and put out hay. Then she cautiously made her way back to the Red Barn.
In the end, I brainstormed with Tim, who does maintenance on the property. He brought down a half inch drill and made holes in the frozen ground. I put the fencing back up using fiberglass posts (I poured water into the holes around the poles and they froze into place quite nicely).
When/if it finally thaws we’re going to have to do a major re-fencing project at the barn, but at least for the short term, I’m hoping this will stay in place.
Frequently on horse forums I see people talk about the poll pressure that’s applied by Baucher bits. It makes me shake my head because the Baucher is a snaffle bit, as defined by the FEI — by definition that is a bit that applies only direct pressure to the rein.
This posting from Bitbankaustralia does an excellent job of explaining the Baucher and how it functions.
In my opinion, calling the Baucher a leverage bit make work as a placebo. If the rider thinks the bit is stronger than it is (by applying poll pressure), then it helps them ride better because they are more relaxed. However, the baucher is NOT a leverage bit. It’s main benefit is that it sits very quietly in a horse’s mouth because of the way it is suspended from the cheek pieces. Many horses appreciate the reduced “noise” of the bit; they prefer a bit that moves very little.
My Trakehner, Kroni, hated bits that moved too much in his mouth — a loose ring snaffle, no matter how gentle the mouthpiece was torture to him — so I rode him in a Baucher much of the time. If I didn’t believe the mechanics of the bit, I would need to trust my horse. Kroni hated poll pressure of any kind — when I tried him in a Dr. Cook’s bitless bridle he started to rear (that bitless set up exerts poll pressure when you pull on the reins), so I know he wasn’t experiencing any poll pressure with the Baucher.
The Baucher is a very useful bit to have in you bit box, but does not work in the same way as an elevator or a pelham.
Originally posted on bitbankaustralia:
So here are my thoughts on the Baucher.
On March 4th Equine Ink will post the March 2014 Blog Carnival of Horses. Unfortunately, the Blog Carnival platform has been down for almost a week now, so I’m going to ask readers to send their submission directly to me by emailing me at email@example.com or by leaving a comment to this post.
The Blog Carnival of Horses is a great way for equestrian bloggers to share their blogs with new readers or for readers to find new blogs. I know that I always enjoy reading the posts that are submitted.
Please submit your post(s) by midnight on March 3rd.
The horses have adapted to the snow. Like a giant ant farm, they have created their own “tunnels” or pathways to travel between the important parts of the field — to the fence line, where they meet over the fence, to the gates (although it’s practically too icy to leave the fields), and to each of the stalls.
In between are vast expanses of untouched snow, now hard and crusty, too deep and dense to be inviting. Freedom will come to meet me at the gate and instead of turning around will back up all the way to the barn to avoid the deeper snow.
This post over at horsenation.com strikes some familiar chords. I’ve seen most of these boarders over the years and then some.
I would classify my self as an amateur in the categories listed in that article.
As someone who has boarded at a co-op barn for the past 10 years, let me add a couple of other personality types.
The Old Timer: This person might not be old in years, but they are firmly entrenched in the “we’ve always done it this way” school of horsemanship. These folks don’t want to hear that there’s a newer, better or even different way of doing something, because they know the best way to do it. In a co-op barn, this often translates to, “my way or the highway”.
The Learn as You Go : This person is the one who chooses the co-op option because it’s less expensive than full care, not because they have ever taken care of a horse. In a co-op barn, this person can be a quick study, but often time, they have a romanticized view of owning a horse that has little to do with the realities of self care. Unfortunately, these are the people who are also taking care of your horse.
The Shirker: This is the person who rarely volunteers to do the extra job, but just does the minimum. They often underestimate the amount of time and effort required to take care of horses.
The Extra Hand: This is the opposite of the shirker, the person who has a secret desire to be a barn manager and is happy to spend the extra hours mucking stalls, picking pastures and stacking hay. These are the people who are always available to hold your horse for the farrier or help you load a new horse onto a trailer.
The Fixer: This is the person who always has a hammer in one hand and who has a solid knowledge of electric fencing, can diagnose illnesses and do basic first aid. If you’re really lucky, a barn will have a few of these, with a range of special skills. Or they may have . . .
The Horse Husband: These are the men who provide the muscle for digging post holes, the carpentry skills to re-hang stall doors or install latches, and the electrical skills to wire the fencing, and the patience to spend many hours in the mud watching their wives or SOs enjoy their horses.