Cat Friend

When I had my horse, Bogie, at a boarding facility, I discovered he had a real affinity for one of the barn cats. He didn’t much like other horses, but he loved this cat. I would frequently find the cat in his stall, enjoying the snuffling and nuzzling from his oversize  friend.

We don’t have any cats at our barn now — too many coyotes for outside cats — so I don’t know whether my horses would like a cat pet. Freedom loves dogs. He loves to nuzzle them and blow in their fur. Not too many dogs reciprocate this feeling, but he has found a few puppies who will lick his nose!

Budweiser Clydesdales not put out to pasture

Despite earlier reports that Budweiser is ditching its iconic Clydesdales in its advertising in favor of a more “hipster” approach, luckily  it’s only for the holiday season. The Clydes will be back for the Superbowl. Thank goodness!

“Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay and will continue to play a central role in our campaigns, including holidays and Super Bowl,” company Vice President Brian Perkins says.

The Clydesdales have represented the brand for more than 80 years, standing for integrity, perfection and team spirit. But most important, they are beautiful horses and the ads appeal to horse lovers and non-equestrians alike. Now that I have Zelda I have a soft spot for those Clydesdales. She’d be awesome in her own commercial.

 

What discipline would you like to try?

The Boston Polo School donated an intro lesson for two to the Hunt Club's online Auction.

The Boston Polo School donated an intro lesson for two to the Hunt Club’s online Auction.

As part of our hunt’s online auction, we got a donation to from a polo school for an intro to polo lesson. I’ve agreed to bid on it with a friend . . .  I actually think that polo looks scary when played at speed (this coming from a foxhunter!) but it’s something that I think would be a lot of fun to try.

Years ago, I lived outside of Cleveland. The town next to us had a polo field and it was easy to catch a game. I knew several of the players and had a lot of respect for their skill and their determination.

I doubt I’ll ever get beyond the intro lesson but doesn’t it sound like fun? The school even provides the equipment and the ponies, so no worries about how Freedom would react to having me swing a mallet!

I’d also like to ride a reining horse sometime. I’ve seen them in action and that also looks like a blast.

What about you? Which equestrian discipline would you like to try if you had the chance?

Another reminder to wear your helmet . . . and buckle the strap

This story was posted on a Facebook Foxhunting site with permission to share it. It’s a closed group so I didn’t post a link. Please remember to wear your helmet and to make sure it’s properly secured. I know that some people will argue that not all injuries could be prevented by wearing a helmet, but this one could have been.

Head injury

Yes, that’s a hoof print on this woman’s head.

So, with all the debates on Facebook lately about helmet or no helmet or even inadequate helmets while riding I thought I’d share this and please feel free to post it forward. This is a picture of my friends head. This happened while sitting quietly on her horse at a show. She had her approved helmet on but had not fastened the chin strap. The helmet was fitted and new just as it should be but it didn’t help her due to it not being properly secured. While sitting quietly her horse took a step back and tripped over the edge of a trailer ramp that had been left down, her horse fell and in its scramble to get up STOOD on her HEAD. Her injury2helmet had come off in the fall and Karen’s skull was crushed, and yes that is a hoof print on her head.

I was extremely lucky to visit Karen in hospital after she was released from intensive care. I say lucky because I should have been paying my last respects at her funeral as the surgeons didn’t know if she would pull through.

After the incident Karen was left with muscular weakness, crippling headaches and lost her sense of smell. On top of this her short term memory was lost and some long term. She had a young daughter and husband whom she couldn’t remember and was extremely confused for a time after the accident. Now, ask her if she would ever consider riding with out a helmet or if she would put her daughter at risk by allowing her to ride with out one. Is vanity really worth risking this for.

After seeing photos like these I think I’m going to have to start wearing my helmet the whole time I’m around horses.

Shoe sucking mud

mud

The mud is so deep in parts of the paddock that I have to wear my tall Muck Boots. The short ones would disappear completely. It is so unpleasant to have your shoe sucked off your foot. Then you have to stand there and balance and hope to get it back before you have to put your foot down. And even when you get the shoe back, it’s full of cold, slimy mud!

We’ve had rain, snow, and more rain. It has left our paddocks full of shoe sucking mud. Luckily, I’ve pulled the horses’ shoes for the winter so the only shoes getting sucked off are mine!

Every year after hunt season, I pull shoes. I hate dealing with winter shoes. Borium is great until there’s no snow, then there’s too much torque. Bare hooves have good traction, rarely pack with snow, and the cost of a trim is a real winner compared to the cost of winter shoes.

My farrier tells me that only about 20% of her clients whose horses wear shoes pull them for the winter. I’m surprised that number isn’t higher. I guess I can understand the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. I think many people worry that their horse’s feet won’t stand up to being barefoot, that they will create new/different problems.

So far, it’s worked well for me. Of course to help them transition, it’s better to pull shoes when the ground is soft, but my two have looked comfortable and the one day when we had freezing after rain, I put front boots on Freedom to help him with the ridges of frozen mud.

When I was growing up, it was routine to pull your horses shoes. Of course, winter was more of a “down time” than it is today. But I still see merit to it.

How about you? Do you shoe all year round (if you get snow)? Or do you pull shoes for a few months?