Rules for dating an Equestrian

Dating an equestrianCopied from Facebook. Many nuggets of truth here!

Rules for dating/marrying an equestrian:

  1. They WILL have layers of clothes and muddy boots….either provide a place for them to drop these things or don’t whine about the mess.
  2. Expensive tack is still cheaper than the horse and human medical bills that can result from cheap tack. Good tack also lasts longer than the horse. Don’t question the tack.
  3. One horse is never enough. Don’t even question this. It is a law of the universe.
  4. Caring for the horse is ALWAYS more expensive than the horse. Whining about the purchase price is pointless.
  5. When they say, “I’m just going to stop out at the barn for a few minutes.” you should probably just make plans on your own the rest of the day.
  6. That not-a-morning-person that you are used to will completely disappear on the mornings a trailer must be hooked up for a horse-related event. They will be replaced by a bright-eyed super-intense type-A psycho who will NOT care that you need 5 more minutes for your coffee because they need to be at the barn at 5:45 am PRECISELY.
  7. Vet bills for horses start at 4-digits and go up from there. If it’s less than $1000, pay it quickly and run out of the vet’s office before the horse suddenly develops another problem.
  8. No matter how badly your significant other is injured, you should NEVER blame the horse. In fact, don’t mention the injury or the horse if you can avoid it. Suggesting they should avoid riding until they are healed will probably get you a crutch upside the head.
  9. If you don’t know what to get for a holiday or birthday, a gift card to the tack store is ALWAYS a good option. If you have messed up somehow, this is an excellent way to get out of the dog house. The value should reflect how much trouble you are in. A bouquet of tack store gift cards is generally sufficient to cover very bad mistakes, such as burning down the house or crashing the truck.
  10. Your equestrian will be fine if you have your own hobbies and interests. In fact, you had better get your own hobbies and interests. If you want to spend significant time with your equestrian, you need to develop a useful skill…..such as driving a tractor, shoveling, operating a video camera, leatherwork of any sort, or becoming a veterinarian.
  11. Trucks are not optional. Yes, the truck and trailer rig will likely be at least half the cost of your house. Arguing about this is unwise, your equestrian will happily LIVE in the truck and trailer and suggest selling the house.
  12. Horse craziness is hereditary, generally passed down the maternal lines, but can be present on the males side as well. Prepare for this when planning children.
  13. If you need your equestrian to spend more time at home, we suggest building a barn on your property.
  14. Dates should be planned in a different county from where the horse is located. If the equestrian gets within 50 miles of the horse, they will need to stop by. You will be stuck there, see point number 5 above.
  15. Never make it a competition between you and the horse. New significant others generally cost less money and are faster to train than a new horse. Just saying.

The Road to Recovery after the Lilac Fire

Horse trainer Joe Herrick and Lovely Finish, his filly, who were both burned at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall on December 7 during the Lilac fire. The trainer lost six other horses in the fire but he and Lovely Finish managed to escape together, although both suffered extensive burns. Herrick says he always felt a bond with her, but that this experience made it even stronger. You can see how much the two care about each other. So many horses didn’t make it out, to see her progress in her recovery is inspiring.

Lovely Finish and Joe Herrick
Lovely Finish and her Trainer Joe Herrick survived the Lilac Fire in California but both suffered severe burns.


If your Horse was Human, what Would his Job Be?

What job would your horse have if he was human?
There’s a great post on Facebook right now. Reading how people categorize their horses is quite amusing!

There’s a post on Facebook that I’ve been following all week. I just love the professions that people have come up with for their horses . . . It really highlights the fact that horses have real and distinct personalities.

Here a few of the posts that made me laugh

  • Trophy Wife
  • Personal Trainer & Bikini Model
  • WWE wrestler with a spastic twich from a previous drug problem
  • Professional male cheerleader who really wants to be the captain but gets beat up by all the girls on team.
  • Hall Monitor, making sure everyone stayed in line.
  • School crossing guard!
  • Professional body guard
  • Mo would be an account. Small unassuming and generic.
  • Male model – romance novel covers – ie Fabio.
  • Mud wrestler 
  • My bay Polish mare would be a chain-smoking beautician that bites her nails!
  • Drill Sargeant. Everyone must behave appropriately and he’s in charge.
  • My big gelding Tobie would be a paranoid meth head.
  • Elementary Teacher
  • My Kahleesi would be a border patrol agent! She paces the fence so much NO ONE would get through!
  • Soap Opera Star
  • A circus performer. My eventer would live in my basement at age 45 and play a lot of x-box. Old jumper would be a retired stunt pilot that spent a lot of time in a rocking chair with grandkids on his lap.

As for mine, Zelda would make a great Walmart greeter. She is always on the alert when people walk by her pasture, absolutely convinced that they came to meet her and always hopeful that they have treats.

Zelda the Walmart Greeter

Freedom would be a chain smoking poet. Sensitive, high strung and very creative.

cribbing post

What about your horses? What would they be if they were humans? Post photos too!

It’s Melting

It's melting
After two weeks of deep freeze and a foot of snow, we’ve had three days of warm weather. Today it was more than 50 degrees. The snow that’s left is deep and wet.
Sun bathing
Freedom’s got his happy face on. He just loves the warmer weather. All the horses were glad when I stripped off their blankets and let them enjoy the fresh air.

Zelda and I went out for one more snow day before the rains come and wash the rest of it away. We’ve enjoyed our days of warmth, although none as much as Freedom. He’s had a blissed out look on his face all week. Can you tell that he really hated the cold weather?

Tomorrow and Saturday we are supposed to have heavy rain. Gotta love New England weather. Then it’s back to freezing temperatures again.

I only got two snow rides in, but they were splendid. In fact, they might be enough to last me until next winter!

Finally Warm Enough to Ride

Nearly 40 degrees
After more than a week of arctic weather, today felt like a gift.

Today the high was nearly 40. That’s a nice contrast to the -10 that I woke up to on Sunday morning. Between the frigid weather, the blizzard and a nasty cold I was starting to forget that snow and horses can also be fun. Since rain is predicted for Friday, getting a few rides in is essential.

The wind carved patterns
Much of the snow was untouched. The wind had carved patterns on the surface and a few animals had wandered through but we laid the first real tracks.

I chose Zelda for the ride. First of all, she has no shoes, which makes her a bit more sure footed (even though Freedom has borium and pads, I think that in deep snow, barefoot works better). Freedom also gets a bit feral when he hasn’t been ridden for so long. Zelda was frisky initially, but trotting through the deep snow cured her of that pretty quickly.

Self portrait
Zelda worked hard on the ride. We did a bit of trotting and cantering but breaking trail when there’s a foot of snow is tough work. I just love the patterns in the snow. It looks almost like sand dunes.
The landscape was serene and peaceful. We saw a couple of people snow shoeing, but mostly we had the trails to ourselves.
Winter light
I love how the sun lights up the shed. The warmth is such a contrast to the cold blue of the snow.

Can Horseback Riding Make you Smarter?

We all know that horseback riding makes you happier, but now a study from Tokyo University of Agriculture shows that riding may help children learn. It turns out that the vibrations that occur when horses are ridden, activate the brain’s sympathetic nervous system.

The study, published in Frontiers in Public Health, involved asking children to complete simple response and mathematical tests, before and after riding a horse.

The results showed that riding horses greatly improved the children’s ability to perform behavioral tasks, leading to better memory, learning, and problem solving. The findings were less significant when it came to math problems.

Town & Country

Liz on King, 1962
My parents started me riding at age 2. They must have anticipated that it would make me smarter.

Well, that explains a lot. I was never very good at math although I rode a lot during childhood! But for all of us with children, it gives us yet another reason to plop that toddler on a pony and tell them to kick on.

The Hay Sleigh

Bitter cold
When I fed the horses tonight at 4 p.m., it was 9 degrees. With the wind chill it was less than zero. The sunset was beautiful but the air was so cold it bit like a knife. The horses seemed relatively unconcerned. Mostly they wanted dinner.
To encourage them to stay out of the wind, we’ve been putting the hay in their run in shed. The added bonus is that expensive second cut doesn’t blow away! Best way of transporting it? The hay sleigh! Thanks, Lindsay!

The Snow Begins

Freedom in the snow
The big snowstorm started a bit later than anticipated. When I fed the horses, around 9 a.m., there was only about an inch on the ground.
Even without a lot of snow, Zelda was starting to look like an icicle.
Curly was dry
Guess who was smart enough to stand inside the shed?

I haven’t been outside for many hours, but last I checked we had white out conditions and snow was falling at a rate of 2-3″ per hour. When I fed this morning, there was only an inch or two on the ground and the horses looked pretty cozy in their Rambo blankets — funnily enough, all three of them are wearing versions of the iconic blanket. I guess it’s because they are warm and wear like iron. Freedom’s purple Rambo is more than 16 years old. I bought it for his predecessor!

I left them with lots of hay, some soaked cubes, and a heated water tank. While many people I know prefer to tuck their horses into stalls on winter nights, I think there are some benefits to having them out — they can move around more freely, the water stays drinkable, and they have shelter from the wind. When I worry about them, I remember that the retired horses on the property aren’t wearing blankets and one of them is pushing 34. And that Zelda was bred and raised in Canada, where they horses live out with no blankets but plenty of hay.

What have you done to keep your horses warm this winter? Do you have a favorite blanket brand for when the temperatures drop and the snow is falling fast and thick?