Hair Today, Not Gone Tomorrow

Work: EVE heat therapy & partial grooming.
Report: weather, cold & overcast. Horse, ditto.

Ramblings: Where does it all come from? Previous Horse, Mathilda, & Rodney all start(ed) shedding long before the formal start of shedding season. Earlier horses were not kept at home, so I may not have been as attentive to the calendar, or not out and brushing as often during the gloom of winter. Right now, Rodney has a sleek, shiny Thoroughbred coat that you wouldn’t think could generate any excess hair. You would be wrong. Mathilda has always been a fuzzy bear in winter. Even her star generates a snowstorm of white hairs for weeks. Already this year, there have been days when I have had to reach for a towel to breathe through while currying.

This does not preclude multiple hairstorms come true shedding season.

When do your horses start changing coats?

To Every Thing There Is A Season

(Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)

Work: rain.

Ramblings: Fallow is fine if one’s harvest season has been busy. When I was in college, I loved to visit my grandmother. I’d lounge about. I’d read books. We’d play cards. I’d forget about papers, finals, the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend, or whatever was troubling my sophomoric self. When my life got quieter, the same visits and the same activities drove me insane with boredom. When life is restful, my ideal vacation is to be dropped in the heart of a major city and not sleep for three days. Therefore, spending the winter letting a horse be a horse, catching up on riding books, and working out at the gym is wonderful. Unless that’s what you did all summer.

Of course when I say I want to be busy, I mean the happy, challenging busy of driving home tiredly peering through the fistful of blue ribbons fluttering from the truck’s sun visor, or catching a red eye flight to interview the returning Olympic team, or blearily trying to remember all the marvelous answers to the problems of the universe you and your friends came up with at 3 am last night. Joyful, satisfying, with just enough physical discomfort to make you appreciate a hot shower and a good dinner at the end of the day.

Not the bad busy that means an impromptu visit to the boss’s office, random grazing in a hospital cafeteria, or rising flood waters. No one wants those.

What is your ideal vacation, with or without horses?

Tic, Tic, Tic

Work: PM heat therapy/EVE groom
Report: same stuff, different day.

Ramblings for the Day: The horse may be half full instead of half empty. As I have said before, when I catch the mare for her walk around the pasture, Rodney runs back to the barn. I had wondered if this was security-seeking behavior. Today when I went to get Mathilda, Rodney was at the far end of the pasture. As we circumnavigated the pasture, we passed by his spot. He came over to say hello and went back to grazing. A breakthrough, I wondered? When it was clear that Mathilda and I were on our way back to the other, barn, end of the pasture, Rodney squealed and took off. He came thundered up to us, looked us over, stuck his head in the air, and high-trotted back to the barn. However, it looked less like a panic attack and more like an excess of joie de vivre. Perhaps when a member of the herd is caught, he thinks Something is happening. Therefore, he runs back to the barn in case that Something involves a meal. The theory is weakened by the fact that he headed into the run-in shed rather than to the feed buckets. The answer could be both. He might be expressing frantic and frolic simultaneously. He is large. He may contain multitudes*.

On the plus side, I anticipated the run and had a good hold on the dog so she couldn’t “help”. There’s nothing like a running animal to flip the switch in a herding dog.

Previous Tics:
Jan 6
Feb 9

How does your horse express J.D.V.?

Who Stand and Wait

Work: PM heat therapy & back massage/EVE groom.
Report: I usually rub his back for a few minutes after each heating session. Today, I got carried away. It’s a nice, nonconfrontational activity with a near-guaranteed positive outcome.

Ramblings: Despite my bragging yesterday, in truth I haven’t done much equine volunteering in a while. I used to feed at the local riding for the handicapped until I realized that I was doing other folks’s stalls after carefully arranging my own barn life not to include any. Last time I checked, I was still on their list as a back-up feeder but they haven’t called in years. Around me, local shows are run by the host barns, which have their own people. There are no local events. Regional competitions are getting more professionally run every year. It’s been a while since Judy and Mickey said, ‘Hey kids, let’s put on a show’. As the commentators yesterday demonstrated, events at any level still run on volunteer fence judges. However, if I am going to use up a weekend, travel to an event, and spend money on a hotel room, I’m going to have a horse in tow. Or be covering it for a magazine. Either way, money is going to change hands. Okay, I used to travel to Kentucky to volunteer at Rolex, but that’s Kentucky. And Rolex.

In terms of wider life experience, less horse volunteer work has meant learning more about other realms. I would never have had time for the fire department or the zoo in a more horse-dense area. But, it has left me hopelessly out of touch within the local horse community. In another life, in another state, I knew or knew of everyone. Now, entire barns spring up of which I have never heard. It’s disconcerting.

Stall cleaning. Traveling. What are you willing to do to volunteer with horses?

They Also Serve

The patch from my volunteer jacket.
Work: day off.

Ramblings: Wednesday is my volunteer day. I spend a few hours in an aviary keeping the birds from attacking the people and vice versa. Since winter isn’t busy, I had time to ponder why people volunteer.

In the horse world, I’ve volunteered the gamut from USPC District Commissioner to WEG Fence Judge [Rome 1998]. I’ve set courses by headlight and been buffaloed by the geometries of dressage arenas in two states. My answer is – to stay busy. For example, I volunteered for WEG 2010 but they only needed me for crowd control on cross-country day. I had the rest of the week to wander about, shop, and watch. It was hell. There wasn’t enough to keep my inner Border Collie amused.

Put a clipboard in my hand and tell me to run a warm-up ring for the day. I might end up dusty, exhausted, and voiceless, but at least I won’t be bored.

What volunteering have you done & why?

Let Me Count The Ways

Work plan: as usual – heat therapy, walk, groom, perhaps groundwork if I don’t run out of day.
Report: Wanted to get my V-day message out early.

Ramblings for the Day: Keep your flowers and candy. My wonderful, terrific husband will

Medicate Rodney twice a day.
CarrY buckets of hot water out to the barn in cold weather.

Cook meals on a camp stoVe at a horse show.
Listen to all my horse-related Angst.
Load hay at the feed store & unload it at home.
Feed in the Evenings.
Drive with me to the Next state to look at a horse.
Shop for & vet my next Truck.
BuIld jumps.
Be my grouNd person
Refence the Entire pasture.

I am one lucky lady.

What does your valentine do for you – that can be shared on a public forum?