I love to take pictures so it’s not uncommon for me to go check on the horses with camera in hand. I have a nice zoom lens and was able to capture the following hilarious interaction between Cash and Valentine at the water trough. I especially love the lips and hillbilly expressions on Valentine. It’s like they have their own comedy routine! I recommend viewing the full screen version of the slideshow:
As promised, here is Moonshine’s new fly mask, modeled by our very own Bill. Yes, he’s driving our truck.
Hopefully, Moonshine will look as good.
I was snapping pictures one day and accidentally caught Moonshine changing positions to walk the other way. The picture makes it look like she’s crossing her legs.
Okay, life is a little too serious at the moment so how about some fun? Moonshine likes to chase Valentine. Valentine likes to run full bore towards the fence and then slam on the brakes at the last minute. In this picture, it looks like Moonshine might have been following a little too closely. I don’t think she ran into him but the picture sure looks like a rear-end collision! He has never actually hit the fence or the barn to my knowledge. The fence and barn wall is just to the right of this cropped photo.
I hate to have to click on a bunch of links to get somewhere, and I’m sure you do too, but rather than steal from other people AND have a post that’s several pages long, I thought I’d just give you links to some funnies I’ve found that you might enjoy. They’re worth every click:
“If Horses Were Software” also from Bridlepath
“The Famous Squirrel Story” – this one will have you giggling out loud, so if you’re at work, you’ve been warned. From Shady Acres, the website of Susan Evans Garlinghouse, a veterinarian and equine nutrition expert.
“Mr. Hand” – this entertaining take on sheath cleaning was written by Patricia Harris and has been extensively reprinted Web-wide (including here on this site), so I’m not sure where the original posting might be. But thank you, Ms. Harris, wherever you are, for an hysterically funny yet very educational piece of horse lore.
I’m sure many of you have found some too. Bring ’em on!
The other day I came across an article from the Ladies Home Journal, dated sometime in the year 1900. It was an article of predictions about what might happen in the next 100 years. An interesting read, some of the predictions were right on, like telephones being ubiquitous and color photographs being sent all around the world quickly. Others were WAY off, such as the ability to have stores send you things via pneumatic tube right into your home. But to me one of the more interesting predictions was that horses would become extinct. John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., the author of “What may happen in the next hundred years” expected that the invention of the automobile would eventually lead to everyone owning and using them for transportation. He was right about that. But he also guessed that the automobile would “have driven out the horse”. Furthermore, he said there would be “no mosquitoes nor flies” (if only). “The extermination of the horse and its stable will reduce the house-fly,” Watkins said.
As much as I’d love to see the mosquito and house-fly disappear from the Earth, I’m glad horses weren’t “exterminated” or “driven out”, as he puts it. I suppose horses in 1900 were seen mostly as beasts of burden; probably the most common animal used for transportation and work at the time. If you had a horse, it was for work of some kind, compared with today when horses are mostly used for recreation in this country. People in 1900 also didn’t have the common comfort appliances we take for granted today, such as air conditioning. I can imagine people looking forward to horses being replaced with machines, if only to reduce the pestilence of flies that no doubt annoyed every homeowner when the weather was warm and the windows were open.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting read for contemporary horse owners. My how things have changed!
There is some more text about horses in there, too. If you’d like to read the article yourself, click the title below. It’s about 450KB:
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years Ladies Home Journal article (PDF)
Serious title, funny story. It was nice and warm outside yesterday so I thought I’d work on the stalls before dark. I took a load of manure out to the pasture and rolled our wheelbarrow back to the barn where I saw hoof marks in front of the stalls. Interesting. I then noticed what appeared to be a large animal paw print. I couldn’t decide if it looked more like a wolf or a large cat but either way, it was right in front of our horse stalls and that had me worried. Did some predator track a deer to my barn and notice a bigger meal? How do I protect my horses from large predators inside their stalls? Wolves and panthers are very rare in east Tennessee but old-timers and a wildlife official I know here have told me stories of how panthers once roamed this land, less than 100 years ago. Did a few survive? I called Mikki over to see what she thought. After studying the paw prints she said, “It doesn’t quite look like a paw print. It almost looks like a boot print, but smaller.” She’s the smart one, mind you. I inspected my boot and sure enough, the heel matched the “paw print.” Dang, that’s embarrassing. The hoof prints I thought were from a deer? I rested the wheelbarrow in that spot.
Even funnier is what almost happened. I was going to call my wildlife official friend to come take a look. I can only imagine him telling me to head out to the pasture so he could follow the tracks to see where they lead. “Keep your eyes peeled…the tracks stopped right where you’re standing. It’s probably watching us this very minute!” he’d probably say with a chuckle.
No, the only black panther that stalks our horses (and us) is our small black cat, Simon, who loves to dart across the lawn as we finish our night chores. So enjoy a giggle on me and let this be a lesson to us all.
Bill is out of town this week, so I’m pretty much on my own with the horses. I did convince The Kid to help me turn them out yesterday morning, and he kept me company while I mucked out the stalls last night, but this morning he was tied up with a video game so I had to let them out of the barn on my own.
We have a routine now, and the horses have expectations. I open Moonshine’s stall door and she sticks her head out to see Bill down by the fence with carrots. She moseys out while I let Valentine out of his stall. He can’t see Bill from where he is, so he snuffles up some hay in the barn aisle while I try to convince him that carrots are MUCH better than old hay. He finally goes out, they get their carrots and I go down to join Bill and love on them before they head out to the pasture for the day.
Well, this morning Moonshine stuck her head out and no Bill. No carrots. No reason to leave the barn. There’s a storm brewing too, so she pretty much just wanted to go back in the stall. I finally got the gate closed behind her so she half-heartedly headed over to the fence. Valentine actually exited much faster than he usually does, but as soon as he saw that there was no one at the fence, he started out to the pasture. Moonshine, of course, followed him. I called but they ignored me. So I ran out to my post at the fence and whistled. They both stopped, looked back and apparently realized that hey, there really were going to be carrots today, and RAN back to the fence! It was so cool. Now, I know you cynics out there will say that they only came for the carrots…but they did respond to my whistle. They’re actually pretty well-trained about that now, they come to me at night too. (Okay, okay, they’re coming for oats then, but still.)
The best part this morning, though, was when they came back to the fence. They crowded up together and I gave Valentine his carrot and Moonshine…sneezed on me. I’m not talking a little cat sneeze either, it was a blast. All over my head. While I was telling her how gross and nasty that was I fed her a carrot too and while she was munching that down she sneezed on me AGAIN! This time with carrot puree! She got Valentine too, he had the evidence on his head. I’ll tell you what, no one can sneeze like a horse.
Then I headed down to the house for a shower.
Here’s another funny little quirk my horse has: practically every single morning when we go up to the barn to let the horses out, Valentine pokes his head out and looks at us, then quickly retreats back into his stall to let loose with about 5 gallons of pee. I swear he does it on purpose. He’s actually held it till we let him in at night, too. Six acres of pasture and he has to pee in the stall.
It didn’t occur to me until we owned a horse just how many times we use common horse sayings. I’m amazed how common these saying are, even though they seem to have origins many years ago before the automobile was common. I’m sure I’m forgetting some good ones but these are really funny to me now that we have horses:
- “Hold your horses!”
- “Get off your high horse.”
- “Hey, your barn door is open.”
- “That’s like putting the cart before the horse.”
- “Aw, blow it out your nose” (applies to multiple animals, I know)
- “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” (my non-gift horse would prefer I not look in her mouth either)
- “He’s got horse sense” (Is this a compliment or an insult?)
- “I got it straight from the horse’s mouth” (Ick!)
- “…a horse of a different color” (you know “brown” isn’t really a horse color, right?)
- “Hey!” (trust me, it’s funny up to 30 times a day when you work with hay all the time.)
and my favorite:
- “Why the long face?”
Can you think of any more?