Thursday, July 28, 2011
Things heat up in the summer.
This past week, I managed to spend two days at Deb Cayer’s place in Andover, take in parts of Martin Black’s clinic at Riverview Farm in Lisbon, and visit with Elijah Moore in Searsport.
I’m tired but thrilled and inspired!
The Martin Black clinic was an eye-opening event with a lively discussion on horse brain function, complete with brain dissection.
Clinic participants also had a chance rope calves who were then tagged and castrated at Ken Foss’s farm in Wales, Maine. A common occurrence out west.
But that kind of action just doesn’t happen in Maine!
Click here for horse brain article.
Click here for Memory Lanes article.
Oh, I forgot to mention the trip to the Old Goat Pub for the filming of our Public Service Announcement. Click here for article and video!
And stay tuned for more on Black and Moore!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Seems us Mainers have about a 30-degree window in which weather is comfortable and praise-worthy. Above or below that window and you’ll hear about it.
It reminds me of a summer in Ireland when the natives were positively beside themselves, persecuted by 80 degrees!
Here in coastal Maine:
It’s so hot, I need a gloved hand to open the tack room door.
It’s so hot, I have to run the hose for five minutes to get out the boiling water.
It’s so hot, the horses would rather do nothing in their stalls than graze. Call it summer stupor.
It's so hot, I'm taking the mares bowling tonight to cool off. There's airconditioning at the bowling alley and none at my house.
Kidding. Heat's getting to me.
As they say: “This too shall pass.”
Before we know it we’ll be trying to thaw out the hose.
Before we know it the horses will be frisky with the fall chill.
Before we know it, I’ll be wishing I had a heater in the tack room.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Like most of you, summer for me is when things heat up - literally and figuratively.
We started filming for the first NickerNews Public Service Announcement. Kerri Falardeau and Shea will star in this 30-second bit to advocate for Designated Drivers.
They were fabulous in the initial run at the Old Goat pub in Richmond.
CLICK HERE to read more.
The next day, we got away for two days at Memory Lanes in Andover, Maine. What a treat. Host Deb Cayer is always so welcoming!
Read more about that mini-venture next week!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Most horses like water. It’s a bit like introducing a kid to a healthy food: Hey, this is actually good!
That’s my experience.
It’s just a matter of making the outing positive. Getting cool on a hot day – what could be more positive?
My horse, Shea, is part draft and I tend to think big horses have a tougher time in the heat. These past few summers, she’s been like a Golden Retriever when it comes to water:
Oh, this again?
I like this.
Go in again?
We both like going in over our heads.
Floating on her back, holding onto her mane as a security blanket. Then, feeling her touch bottom again as we get back towards shore.
Doesn’t get much better than that!
This particular outing, we played with my mom’s black lab, Lark.
Lark had no previous experience with horses and at first, I think she would have preferred to keep it that way. But when I asked her to play fetch, she seemed to forget about the 1,000-pound animal between her and the stick.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Sure, I cherish all seasons of horse time. But gotta say, these warm summer days I cherish the most.
It’s relaxed. If you stop and let it, fun stuff happens.
I was sitting out at the barn tonight, as I often do after dinnertime. The horses come and go. Mostly they linger around me.
My dog, Ruby, sits at my feet. I swivel to answer the cell phone and spill a swallow of beer on her backside. Peppermint licks it up. Like a Mama Bear. The dog is relaxed enough to stay there and let it happen. Even joins her. Dog and pony lapping droplets of beer together.
It reminds me of another silly moment years ago with my rescued thoroughbred, Handsome. It was some hot. Real hot. I was wearing shorts and a running bra.
I had just hosed him down. He was being fresh and I should have asked him to give me some space, but let it go.
He muzzled my shoulder and grabbed the strap of my running bra in his teeth and snapped it. Fresh!
(Photo of Handsome at right)
I drive by this unsavory place in Cumberland county about once a month. Five horses are fenced off with two strands of wire on a few acres that would be woods and swamp if it weren’t cleared.
As it is, their paddock is mud and dirt. The horses are in decent shape but they look super depressed. They eat from a round bale since there is no grass.
The other day I noticed an excavator in the yard.
Today I noticed the horses were gone.
I don’t know the owner, but had heard through the grapevine that he was a nasty man. Over the months I had contemplated calling the Animal Welfare Program to complain. But knowing the laws and knowing the state of the AWP, I didn’t call.
They had a three-sided shelter (in disrepair, but a shelter, nonetheless) and hay. They didn’t look happy, but they didn’t look desperate either.
It was just a sad situation. Made sadder by their absence today.
Did he ‘put them out of their misery’?
Did he save them from the slaughter stream?
Did he let them down?
Did he snuff out five beautiful, productive lives?
Did I let them down by not stopping to check in with the owner or leave a brochure from Maine Equine Welfare Alliance in the mailbox?
I don’t know the answers to the first four questions. But the answer to the last one is most certainly YES.