A friend of ours had a scary near-miss with a horse trailer yesterday. Driving down an interstate highway headed back home from a barrel race, she was suddenly shocked to see a car racing towards her truck at a high rate of speed…on the wrong side of the highway. Luckily there wasn’t a car in the next lane. She was able to swerve out of the way just in time. She said it seemed like the car barely missed hitting her horse trailer. Later it was reported that the highway was shut down to apprehend the driver, who at times was driving at an estimated 90 mph. Unfortunately no further details were available. Can you imagine? Things can happen so fast! For sure, no one was expecting a wrong-way driver on the interstate that day.
I’m not sure what to take away from this as a learning experience other than to try to always pay attention to your surroundings and to always think of a way out, just in case.
Have any harrowing horse hauling stories to share?
I bet many of you experienced some winter snow these past few weeks. In east Tennessee where we’re not accustomed to much snow, we enjoyed a rare white Christmas, with about 5 inches of snow falling and then sticking for a few days. We’ve mentioned before how much our horses love snow (January 2009 horse play) and of course our horses played and rolled in it like a bunch of very big kids. We brought them in at night since they were wet by then and the temps were in the mid 20s and it seemed like a good idea to keep their feet out of snow and ice for part of the day. Of course when we finally let them out the next morning, they bolted from the barn.
The picture above is of Cash. It’s HDR so the colors are blown out a little but it illustrates nicely how dirty he gets. That reddish white you see is supposed to be as white as the snow in the background but if you have white horses, you probably know how that goes.
I’ve often wondered if our horses would play with one of these horse exerciser balls. We’ve tried the giant hanging apple with a treat in it and no one seemed to care about it. But here’s a video of one little horse who seems to like his exercise ball. I bet he was sore after this session.
What toys have you used that your horse(s) seem to enjoy?
If you use Purina feeds, by now you’ve noticed the pink bags. About a month ago we noticed the first batch and ended up coming back from the feed store with a trunk full of pink (we primarily use Purina Strategy and Equine Senior). I was surprised and impressed at how big a commitment they made – all of their livestock feeds at the feed store are pink right now in support of breast cancer awareness and in support of breast cancer research as part of their Pink 50 campaign in September and October this year.
Late summer was very warm here in east Tennessee. With temperatures in the 90s (Fahrenheit) and humidity greater than 70%, I admit I haven’t been very interested in doing much with our horses for a while. Tonight, as we headed out to feed horses, a noticeable change was in the air. If the weather forecast is right, cooler temperatures have returned, at least for the next 10 days, with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 40s. I’m not a fan of winter, but fall is a nice break from the humidity of summer and now that cooler weather is returning, we’re looking forward to completing some projects around the farm and to riding our horses again.
How about you? Have you been waiting for the return of cooler weather to get out and ride/finish barn projects or are you a hardcore, ride anytime of year kind of of person?
I have a bad habit of holding things in my mouth to free up both my hands. This afternoon I stuck the cap to a tube of Quest Plus dewormer in my mouth – with the inside of the cap facing my tongue. I couldn’t even see a trace of the gel (it’s orange) on the cap, but I sure did taste it. NASTY!! Made my tongue and lips numb too. I did feel bad giving it to Valentine after that – but keeping him parasite-free is more important than saving him from nasty-tasting stuff. So be sure to worm your horses on a regular schedule, preferably under your vet’s advice…just don’t put the cap in your mouth.
Many of you have followed the Our First Horse blog for the more than four years we’ve been around. You’ve read about us starting with our first horse (Valentine), purchasing our second horse (Moonshine) soon after and later our third and fourth horses (Romeo and Cash). We started out as total newbies with a nice horse barn and a decent fenced property and gradually, slowly we gained knowledge and experience. And I’d like to think along that way we gained wisdom, as well. It’s a piece of that wisdom I’d like to share with you today.
Someone once said that hindsight is 20/20 and this we have all proven in our lives. After more than four years of horse ownership, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve made some poor decisions, especially early on. I love all of our horses and have no interest in selling any of them. We’re emotionally attached to them now. But even though we can ride any ride-able horse and even though we know how to take care of them, we’re in a way still beginners, unskilled and without a lot of time. I had an epiphany recently. For people like us who don’t have much time but love horses enough that they want their own, it’s better to buy a well-trained, excellent horse right in the beginning. What we should have done was spend $5,000-$10,000 each on two already-trained, good horses. There, I said it. Our horses are great but they need a lot of training. The trouble is, I need training, too, and I don’t have a lot of time for me to learn, become an expert and then train my horses.
So if I could do it all over again, I’d start out with better trained horses. I’m certainly not giving up on our horses and we will invest time and money into training them. But there are days I wish I could just saddle up any of them and head off on the trails (we can mostly do this with Romeo). So my advice to you if you’re a beginner looking for your first horse – save your money and invest in lessons for you (critical) and a well-trained horse.
For those of you with horses, do you agree/disagree? What would you do differently in hindsight?