Total Pageviews

Friday, November 26, 2010

Amusing Horse Quotes

Never send a man to do a horse's job.

- Mr. Ed

“They think they can make fuel from horse manure - Now, I don't know if your car will be able to get 30 miles to the gallon, but it's sure gonna put a stop to siphoning”

- Billie Holiday

It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts!

~Nicholas Evans

If horses knew their strength we should not ride anymore.

-Mark Twain

The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip.

- Henny Youngman

Horses are uncomfortable in the middle and dangerous at both ends.

- Attributed to both Christopher Stone and Ian Fleming

One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on him.

- Jeffrey Bernard

I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.

- Abraham Lincoln

No matter what you weigh, the little fellow is your equal on a horse.

- Will Rogers

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Makes Me Happy

I'm frequently asked by the curious non-equestrians at work, "How often do you ride?" My typical responses are "Me ... Oh ... not since the Nixon administration" or "They don't let the wretched ride."

The truth be known, I did ride almost daily while courting my wife 23 years ago. She was teaching riding lessons and I was taking riding lessons so I could actually see her when she wasn't exhausted. She even convinced me to go into a little schooling show. True story: I almost ran over the judge and then cut off a 75 year old woman in a flat class causing her to fall from her mount. After my primary rival was taken away in an ambulance, I got second in the class, much better than I expected.

I now rarely get on a horse...maybe every 5 years or so if the stars line up just so. Yes, it usually does take 5 years to recover. Even when I do ride, it on the pony Bobbie. I'm 6 foot 2. If he starts getting fresh, all I have to do is straighten my legs and he just trots out from under me.

Truth also be known that none of this is or was ever about me. The quicker I came to that realization the better. My role is cleaning stalls on the weekends, picking up the feed at the store, doing night checks, trailering horses here and there, fixing stuff, helping with turn out and yes paying some bills. The horses are as much about me as breathing is about smelling the flowers. I'm only a side benefit that comes with the entree.

However, I love (and I do mean love) to watch my wife and daughter ride. The horse and either rider float so effortlessly around the ring with such grace and beauty that it's almost like a spiritual type of experience for me. OK ... before you think spiritual in the sense that I'm channeling my long dead fore fathers ... no ... nothing Casper the Friendly Ghost here.

Watching them ride somehow makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger.
I always have to stop and watch for a moment. I'm always at least tempted to grab a camera. I always get tears in my eyes.

It's not truly about their riding either. Yes, my wife and daughter both are accomplished riders and no I don't get the same feeling watching others ride (that would be weird), no matter how good they are. I do, however, get the same feeling watching my son snowboard effortlessly over powered snow. See the Link...

The watery eyes, the spirituality, the sappy stories do not come because of the beauty of the ride of horse or snowboard or because I live to peal onions.

It comes because someone I love is doing something something they love. It makes them happy beyond happy, which makes me happy beyond happy.

Ride Happy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ode (or Odor) to Stall Cleaning

There's no way around it.
The poop just keeps coming.
You clean stalls every day.
While horses clean their plumbing.

No shavings aren't that cheap
You shake and toss and sift
Your backs about to break
What the heck was that I sniffed.

This ain't no perfume factory
The urine reeks and ranks
What did that horse drink
A thousand water tanks?

It's like any of life's struggles
Where should I begin
This stalls a wicked mess
There's no way I'll ever win

But persistence wins the day
Each poop I find and pick
The stall is finally clean
And I avoided getting sick

Tomorrow starts anew
The crap will drop and roll
I plead to my horse Friends
Just use a Toilet Bowl

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Wet Pasture Derby

The horses had been in for a few days because of the rain we've been getting this week. As a result, they were all freakish at turn out yesterday, dancing all the way to pasture as if they were 2 year old race horses, not the 13 to 26 year old Geritol jumpers that they are.

When released from their lead ropes they'd all canter out to mid pasture, drop, roll, race around a little more, buck with all four feet off the ground and then gradually put their heads down to graze. Everything was actually fairly predictable until Czar Bobbie, the tiniest terror of all, was turned out.

At first, he too dropped, rolled and bucked. However, after his final leap, he took off like a turbo charged Secretariat chasing the other horses around his personal killing field like he were an evil barbarian Hun looking for the fresh peasant kill.

The other horses on typical day would be spooked by as little as deer, kites, umbrellas or a Republican landslide election (Yes, horses, by nature are very liberal creatures). However, this time the fear was more primal as if they were the antelope being hunted by the "mini me" lion.

McGuiver would have defused the Bobbie bomb with some chewing gum and dental floss. However, his services weren't needed here. After 15 minutes or so, an uneasy calm returned to pasture.

Unfortunately, you never know when the angelic creatures of calm will return to the wild beasts of turmoil. We often have talked about having a bucket of grain in clear box by the pasture with a sign that said, "For emergency break glass. Hurl grain towards the little one."

We've all survived another day.