This was a holiday weekend. Family and friends visited and all of them roamed around the ranch. Often, they will ask me, “What is that?” or “Why is that like that?”… When non-horse people come around, there are lots of questions. You know how it goes. You probably remember when you had all of those questions… Or, at least I do.
So, today’s topic hits on a few of those cityfolk questions. I went around and took photos of several of the most popular topics. I think that you all will recognize these photos in an instant… OK, here we go:
Of course you want to brush up the horses when company is arriving… However, the left-over pile of redundant hair scares the bejeezus out of your house guests. I guess I was hoping that the wind would just blow this hair around. Or, that maybe some bird would create a supernest. But, it didn’t happen and I forgot about the telltale signs of the grooming carnage. Of course, after you tell your guests that the hair is just the horses’ winter coats coming off, they ask how come they loose “so much”. I always retort that this isn’t anything compared to what I get on my barn clothes on a daily basis! Immediately their faces make that “eewww” contort and I know I’ve said too much. I guess that isn’t really dinner talk…
Yup. The fly mask caper. I have never understood why anyone would think that I would purposefully put blindfolds on all of my horses and then expect them to pick their way through their pastures unaided. It amazes me that my guests don’t notice that the horses are doing just fine, running around and not crashing into anything when they are supposedly totally sightless. And, what possible purpose could blindfolding achieve? Wha?
I guess I need to be more open minded on this one. But, it does baffle me. I’ve even heard them say that they “see these blindfolded horses all the times and it seems so cruel”. Oy. Usually, I just hold up one of those nasty blindfolds in front of their eyes and let them see that it is just like viewing through a screen door. That usually ends the discussion.
I must agree though, it is a good question… why would anyone want to blindfold their horse? Sigh.
3) “What do you do with those wheelbarrows? Why are they so big? Why do you need two? Why are they different colors?”
I guess I’m glad that I know my way around a wheelbarrow. Twice a day, everyday, I fill the green one with hay and push it around to all the eager and impatient fuzzies. It helps my upper arm strength (grabbing, loading and tossing) and makes my work day a bit easier. I’m not sure why my houseguests don’t understand the workings of ‘such a large’ wheelbarrow. I think they don’t understand what a large animal eats — large food.
…Which brings us to the other colored wheelbarrow. I think y’all know what that one does… ;)
Aarrgh. I have a mare with lots of hair (that rhymes).
To bring her in after grazing, I throw a rope around her neck, unsuspecting. She walks with me merrily down to her pasture and gladly stands in front of her pasture gate, waiting patiently for me to open it. I think she is so wonderful that I grab her neck, nuzzle her sweet mane and rub her all over with my bare arms.
About 15 minutes later I feel the tingle. Do you know the tingle? Then I race to the house, throw off my boots, run upstairs like a crazed maniac and pour the Tecnu all over myself. Sound familiar?
5) “Ugh, what are you going to do with those?!”
Well, I cannot blame them. My apple core pile is kinda gross. I just forget about it… It sits on my desk because I usually have two or three apples a day (little ones) and I keep the cores as horsey treats. You know how that goes, “No don’t throw that away, somebody will eat that!” Uh huh. That’s me. Hubby just looks the other way, poor guy.
I wonder if I am the only one who does this. Perhaps I should join a group or something…
6) “Why do you have all that string in the barn?”
OK, those are things I just think… I generally just say, “Oh, that is baling twine that is around the hay bales to keep it together. That bag is a feed bag and I just put the strings in the feed bag because I don’t know what to do with them. Eventually, when the bag is full, I throw them away. However, if you’d like them for a school project or your own State Fair weaving contest, please take some.”
Why indeed. But it does. That little ‘sideways chain in the little slot’ has stumped horses throughout the ages. Someday, somewhere, some horse is going to figure it out with his little nubile lips and spread the word through gated horse communities everywhere. I bet the final Einstein might be my little Shetland pony. He ponders this famous horse mystery daily. Rattle. Rattlerattlerattle. Rat. Rattleyrattlerat. Some day, he will figure it out.
8) “Why do you have hotwire? Isn’t that cruel?”
The reason I have it is because the wire keeps the big horse (Bodhi) from breaking the fence boards. Other than that, we don’t have wire anywhere. But, truth to tell, all it really does is make Mommy cuss twice a day.
I sure am difficult to train.
Well, this one could be a bit perplexing. I think that unless you are as lazy as I am, you probably don’t have a plastic ball in your waterer. You see, the trough is really farther away than what it seems in the photo. I like to be able to know at first glance whether or not I have to fill it or if it is low enough that I should dump it and start over. So, that wonderful $1.49 yellow ball from Target helps me decide my morning fate from the fenceline view.
Unless of course, Bodhi has had a rousing game of horsey soccer the night before… Then I have to go even further to retrieve it. I can hear him chuckling from the other side of the pasture. He loves to play soccer with me.
10) “Where did she go?”
I think that if you look at the photo, you could easily be the detective and come up with the answer right away… I’ll give you a minute. (lalalalallalalalala….) OK, ready? Yup, I’m sure you all figured it out or at least figured a likely story.
She was grooming outside on a sunny day. She must have heard the phone ring, or she needs to call the vet or she needs to use the restroom or something INSIDE because she stepped out of her barn shoes and left the hat and groomer on the porch. See… easy.
Awww, that’s simple… Three Happy Mares.