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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flies...need I say more!

I think it was in statistics class in college where I first heard the saying, "There's lies, damn lies, and there's statistics." When you have horses you have to modify that a bit to, "There's Flies, Damn Flies and then there's MORE Damn Flies."

I think everyone that's owned a horse has tried multitudes of different sprays, supplements, fly sheets and fly masks. Of course, almost all work, but it truly does depend on how you define work.

Most of the sprays will work to a degree, for a while, but either the spray wears off relatively quickly or fly spray is an acquired taste for the flies and it takes a bit for the word to get out around fly town.

Supplements may work. I don't' know. However, a garlic supplement seems more like your seasoning the horse for the flies not deterring them.

Fly sheets and Fly Masks are more of an armor type of deterrent. However, the horses tend to look like futuristic alien rocks stars with the fly sheets on. Additionally, I don't know how many people I have had to explain, "No we don't blind fold our horses."

Most of our horses are fine with fly masks. However, Bobbie seems to get a form of road rage or "fly mask rage" when he has one on. Drivers seem to feel protected when they're in their little cars, behind their wheels and normally nice folks will flip the bird or swear at you like you've stolen one their young. When Bobby gets his fly mask on, our tough little pony, suddenly is not only tough, he's invincible. He flips the bird to our larger thoroughbreds and our Hanoverian by gnashing at them with his teeth, chasing and terrorizing them as he rules the field with an iron hoof. The other horses bolt around the field with the fear of god in the eyes.

We're going to try the garlic on Bobbie this year.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eating Dirt, a Variety of Ways

My eighteen year old daughter loves everything about horses, horse shows and everything associated with the word ... "horse". She loves the smells of saddles, the sensation of landing the perfect jump, the nuzzle of a muzzle and even the endless waiting (and build of anticipation) at horse shows.

However, my seventeen year old son would rather eat dirt than step a single sneaker into the barn. He'd rather gargle glass than go to a show. Riding a horse would be less welcome than a Zombie Alien Invasion from the putrid planet of "Puke"... or whatever video game scenario applies.

While my daughter is tearing up the show ring and will jump 3 or 4 foot jumps a top her hay fuled steed, my son is shredding rails, slashing through snow and jumping 30 foot jumps aboard his gravity powered snowboard.

He loves the cold wind in his face, the feel of the ever steepening terrain as the evergreens blur by. He even enjoys the thrill (and great story) of the occasional crash.

My daughter, on the other hand, would rather eat dirt.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Bumper Sticker

Here's a bumper sticker I saw today ...
"Driver carries no cash. All is spent on the Horse."

It is amazing how much money people spend on horses. It's not unusual to drive along country upstate roads and see quarter horses and Shetlands in tiny pastures next to microscopic houses.

Mundane looking people, who'd you think sane if you saw them walking down the street, will give up nice homes, nice cars, nice clothes and vacations for a Thorough Bred or two. They'll take millions of flies, mountains of horse poop, crushed toes and a pay check to pay check lifestyle for that Standard Bred. They'll eat corn flakes and tomato soup for weeks on end ... to save money for that new sheet for the Morgan Horse. People will not buy themselvs new shoes for decades, so the Arab Horse can get them every six weeks.

Horses must be pretty amazing creatures, huh?