Thursday, April 28, 2011

To Blanket or not to Blanket

"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, but never a slave." ~Ronald Duncan

This time of year, Spring, is always difficult when it comes to blanketing horses. The general rule is, if the weather temps are 40-57 degrees in the Spring, use a lightweight blanket. Problems arise with the fluctuating temperatures during the day, this time of year.

You don't want your horses to get too hot under their blankets or they'll colic while eating pasture grass, and when they're brought in at night for their grain ration.

When in doubt about the weather, leave their blankets off. Mother Nature gives them extra "fur" when the weather turns chilly. It's better to have a horse who feels cool to the touch, than to have a horse feel too warm.  Colic can occur from being overheated because of a blanket. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Freedom to Be Horses

"The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and freedom." ~ Sharon Ralls Lemon

Someone at the barn asked me, "Do you ride those things?" At the time the question was asked, both of my horses were bucking, rearing, snorting, and kangaroo-hopping in the indoor ring. It is always impressively scary for the first-time observer. This is what my horses do when they are turned out first thing in the morning. They are free to get their ya-yas out before I get on them.

Once aboard, they become respectful workers; light-in-hand, well balanced, and full of positive energy. My horses take care of me out of trust and respect. I take care of them for the same reason.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Magic Moment

Sixteen more days to the Kentucky Derby. It's that magic moment when the equine contenders become heroes for the day. We all need a hero. A real hero with no agenda. It's the day when a simple animal shows us there is always hope for a better tomorrow. A day when we see what true heart and courage really is. A day when sixty seconds of time creates the ultimate dream for owners, trainers, and jockeys.

The only thing our equine athletes expect in return for their hard work is a pat on the neck, a few quarts of grain and some quality hay. I call them "simple animals" for a reason. They respect and trust their human handlers unconditionally and give 150%. They have no agenda. Their needs are uncomplicated.

Over the years, I've learned a great deal from my horses and other equines I've worked with and studied. I've come to the conclusion, I have a long way to go before I come remotely close to their greatness.