The Barefoot Boy

Work: house rules stipulate that farrier = day off. What can I say, Previous Horse trained me well.

We deweaponized Rodney’s hind feet early on. At the end of last year, I had the blacksmith remove his front shoes as well. He’ll probably need them back in the summer for stomping flies. Meanwhile this will give him a chance to grow foot. Taking his fronts off has also completed his transformation from fancy stall-bound show horse to redneck yard art.

I’ve seen horses being ridden immediately after being shod. Do yours or do they get the day off?

The Things We Do For Love

Work: None. Heat therapy.

In high school, my friends would call on a Friday evening,
“Hey, we’re going to a party. Want to come?”
To which I would say,
“No. I have to get up for a horse show tomorrow morning.”

In college, I looked into the Peace Corps. I got as far as a form that said ‘If you sign this & we assign you, you have to go’. Granted this was fairly early in the process, but it made me realize I wasn’t going to leave my horse nor stop riding for two years.

These days, we have not gotten the current arrangement of horses settled to the point that we can both leave the property overnight. No impromptu mini-honeymoons in New Orleans for us.

Mostly, I haven’t minded. However, this weekend, they cost me bricks!

On Saturday, BrickFair held a basket auction (Chinese raffle for the unPC) of free LEGO sets. You had to be present to win. When I woke up Saturday, Rodney was on full alert over hunters in the woods. In his defense, black powder season is LOUD. So, I had to wait for him to calm down enough to feed. Good-bye auction. On Saturday evening after the public hours, my LEGO club (go ahead & snark – it’s a blast) held a parts draft (splitting a set among ourselves). When the draft was delayed, I decided I couldn’t wait, sold my share, & came home to check the horses. They were fine. Waiting in my email was a notice that one of my MOCs (my own creation) was nominated for an award. Yeah! However, I had not posted a picture and nominees with pictures tended to get more votes. It would have been a piece of cake to find someone to take and upload a photo. You can always count on geeks to be technology-enabled. However the MOC was 30 miles away because, all together now, I had come home early to check the horses. It didn’t win.

I realize that my raffle tickets might not have been drawn had I been there. That the person who bought my place to had just as much fun as I would have had. That my MOC might not have won with a photo. Plus, I know that there are plenty worse things that happen every day, even right on my own road. But. Still. It would be one thing if Rodney was winning, or even entertaining. All this for a horse who is already a source of epic frustration. On the upside, the horses are fine. I enjoyed the rest of BrickFair. And, I got a blog post out of it.

What have you given up for horses?

BrickFair: day 4

[Theme change because, after an embarrassingly long time, I noticed that my choice was the same as that of Writing From the Right Side of the Stall. I am a journalist. I notice these details. Eventually.]

Work: day off.

Last day of Brickfair. In the LEGO world, horses are either medieval or for girls. (Horse Jumping set discontinued. Try this instead. 1/16/13)

What was your favorite childhood horse toy?

Brickfair: day 1

Work: day off.

Rider [c.t.] busy geeking out at Brickfair. (Image of Kermit with hands above head screaming wildly.) In honor of my LEGO weekend, here is a horse sculpture made out of those addictive plastic bricks. I’m not completely certain of Internet protocol on images, so will ask you to click thru. The style reminds me of the ads for Equus on Broadway when I was a kid. Which I cannot find due to the complete Google domination of the Daniel Radcliffe 2007 version. (Nice abs, BTW) Because of the violence to horses, my mother forbid me to go. An unusual move on her part. Whether from the parental injunction or my natural squeamishness, I never seen have seen the play or the movie. Don’t intend to.

If you’ve see Equus, was my mother right to forbid? I would have been 10 at the time.

Ladies Night

On midnight Christmas Eve, animals talk. This year, Mathilda gave us an earful:

“Nobody ever asks the other horses. You are at the barn, what two, three, hours tops? We are the ones who have to live with your choice 24/7. Okay, I admit, he’s cute in his way. However, 19 years of an arranged marriage to one Thoroughbred was enough. Now I gotta train another one?!

“It started well enough. The first pasture had lots of space, lots of grass, lots of horses. Once I convinced the residents that I had hooves and wasn’t afraid to use them, I made a some friends. Life was good. One of the horses living in that field, a skinny Thoroughbred, thought he was all that. He screamed like a stallion, even though we could all see he wasn’t. He was a pig about getting to eat first and had to be the one standing closest to the fan. He didn’t bother me much. I wasn’t his type. He always had some silly filly who didn’t know any better off in a corner.

“Of course you know what happened. We moved. You brought him. Of all the horses you could have chosen, you picked him. HIM! Have you no sense? Didn’t you see me trotting back and forth along the fence line begging you to bring another horse, any other horse?

“I guess over the years we worked out a sustainable living arrangement. As long as I let him eat first, he thought he ran the field. I can’t say we ever got to be buddies. Oh sure, there was the occasional clandestine nuzzle. And yes, I threw a fit when you took him down the driveway, but that was self-defense. I was afraid of being alone.

“Silly me. Alone wasn’t so bad. I got to eat any patch of grass that caught my fancy. I could nap in the barn whenever I wanted. I left part of my breakfast for elevenses.

“After a year of my getting used to being single, you bring in another bay Thoroughbred. Okay, this one is nicer, but there are rabid skunks nicer than that other horse. And, yes, I made a bit of a fool of myself over him at first but I’ve calmed down. I mean, he’s less than half my age. I’m exhausted. It’s nice having a boy toy, but all the time? Perhaps some sort of visiting hours?

“Plus, this one has issues. He thinks of the entire run-in shed as his own private stall. Seniority clearly means nothing to him. What his kicks lack in snake-like speed they make up for it in reach. I’ve learned to just walk away. There is no reasoning with a Thoroughbred.

“Also, more carrots.”