Archive for October, 2008

Why do horses let us ride them?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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It was certainly a thought provoking question and made me wonder what the horses would have to say on the matter. As it turns out, they had more to say than I expected. From the collective consciousness of the horses here is the explanation:

There are many reasons, but first and foremost, they see it as their job.

As young ones grow and see older ones being ridden they grow up with the idea that this is a part of growing up and not unlike human children they emulate their parents or other adults. They see it as a rite of passage and look forward to the day they will be grown up enough to be entrusted with a rider. Barring any physical discomforts or bad experiences, they will continue with the attitude that it is a privilege and a normal part of their lives. Some of them grow to quite enjoy spending time with their rider, going on excursions together. Those lucky ones develop a strong bond with their rider and truly experience the joy that relationship can bring.

The unlucky who do not enjoy that relationship see it as a job, something to be endured. Not particularly unpleasant but not how they’d prefer to spend their time. They see it as payment for the upkeep and so they tolerate it.

Some unlucky ones have been so broken in spirit that they are numb to life and simply exist.

Then there are others who due to pain issues or bad experiences look at it as an adversarial relationship. They will do everything in their power to avoid being ridden.

Sadly, there are far too many horses who fit the latter categories. However, I know there are also many who have wonderful relationships with their guardians and enjoy their time together. Please feel free to share your anecdotes by clicking the comments link below this post.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Story of the Well

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

It was a very dry year. No rain for two months. One day I turned on the hose to fill the horse’s water tank and, after a short time, the water stopped. With a sinking feeling I knew that probably meant our well had gone dry.

I took a walk into the woods to check on the well house, a small building sitting at the juncture of several springs. All the springs leading to the house were dry. I checked the extended weather  report: chance of rain on Saturday. It was now Monday. We had bottled water for drinking, but I would have to haul water from a neighbor for the horses. Could we take a chance and wait for rain hoping it would be enough to replenish our water supply?

After considering my options overnight I awoke Tuesday morning with the conviction that it was time to have a well drilled. Last year we had problems when the water level got too low, now we were totally out of water with no guarantee about when we might get enough precipitation to restore running water.

Here is where the story takes an interesting turn. I have been practicing Law of Attraction for more than a year. After all this time it has become pretty ingrained. Rather than panic about our immediate crisis, I was able to remain calm and trust that the universe would work things out just right. (A huge step forward as last year when we had well problems I was a nervous wreck. We ended up being without water for nearly two weeks and there was no way I wanted to go through that again.)

I recalled a conversation with a neighbor about wells some months earlier. He had mentioned a company that did great work. It could not just be coincidence that I had had this conversation and was then able to call and get that company’s name. (Funny, my neighbor didn’t remember at all and really had to scratch his head to come up with the name, Ziegler’s Well Drilling of Newfoundland.)

Next I placed a call to Ziegler’s. I spoke with Terry who said he could stop by in 10 minutes or so. No arguments here!! After a brief conversation and a ball-park estimate, we struck a deal and he said he’d send a crew to begin drilling that afternoon. He would also arrange for an electrician and backhoe. When Law of Attraction kicks in it really kicks in! By 1 pm a big rig pulled in and went to work.

The noise from the driller was no fun at all, but after four hours they hit a good, solid, vein of water, 225 feet, all but 50 was bedrock. That made the drilling more challenging, but saved us a lot of money as they didn’t need to run pipe through the rock portion. Things were moving along with remarkable efficiency.

The next morning, Wednesday, the backhoe arrived and created a trench to run the piping. Shortly after came the electrician. He had originally thought we’d need a new circuit panel as we were maxed out, but incredibly, he found there were some wires no longer in use and he was able to complete the work for $90 instead of the $650 estimated. (As a bonus he discovered live wires that could have killed someone and removed them.) The bill for the backhoe was also substantially lower than estimated. As I said earlier, when it kicks in, Law of Attraction doesn’t mess around!

By 11 am Wednesday I had running water in the house. I had only needed to haul two loads of 40 gallons each to keep the horse tank filled. (Huge thanks to our generous neighbors who shared their water during the drought.) Today I filled the tank from our brand new well!!!

The final bill for everything was less than the lower estimated range for just the well. We now have better water pressure, colder water,  a supply that should serve us through future droughts, and it’s pure. The water test came back with the comment that it’s so pure it even smells like water!

As these events were unfolding I just had to marvel at the incredible efficiency of Law of Attraction. It was a night and day difference from when I fussed and stressed over no water last year versus remaining calm and allowing the pieces to come together this year. As each bill came in less than expected I was reminded over and over again just how powerful these principles are. “What we resist persists.”

Mystery Swelling on Thoroughbred

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Overnight Rusty, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred, developed a very strange swollen spot at his navel. There was no evidence of injury, just the swelling. He was too upset from discomfort to communicate, so I decided to monitor the situation before deciding upon a course of treatment.

Hours later the swelling had extended along his underside past the midline. Now there was heat and tenderness and the area around his navel had swollen so that it looked like two testicles! One of the most bizarre things I’ve seen. Since he has an outie, my mind leapt to scary thoughts of a ruptured umbilicus. He loves to romp and maybe he strained himself? I put those thoughts aside and decided to focus on a less frightening cause, like an insect bite.

Pet Chatter Rusty Belly

Swelling from navel to midline.

I cold hosed him, then liberally applied clay to all the swollen areas. I administered a natural antibiotic remedy orally and another mixed with his feed. This routine continued, minus the oral antibiotic, for 12 days.

Pet Chatter Rusty Testicles

Testicle-like swelling at navel.

The swelling along the midline was totally resolved within three days. At seven days the “testicles” were hugely reduced and the heat was gone. By day ten the “testicles” had disappeared. I continued the treatment for two more days just to be sure. Whatever it was has totally resolved.

Pet Chatter Rusty

Rusty back to normal.

Have you seen anything like this? What was your experience? Please feel free to share ideas and your experiences by clicking the comments link below.

Pet Chatter Communication with Majestic Percheron Gelding

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Rick is a 17.3 Teenaged Percheron Gelding. He lives in a natural herd environment where he is the leader. He is jet black and magnificent. He has a quiet dignity that inspires trust and deep affection. Majestic is what comes to mind when gazing upon his countenance.

Fortunately for him, his guardians are aware of just how special he is. I’ve communicated with him several times and always come away marveling. He is a beneficent leader and takes his role very seriously.

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Photo courtesy of Serenity Equestrian Center

Pet Chatter: “Why don’t you come to visit when there is company? Your gift of connecting with people is deeply appreciated and your guardians want to share that.”

Rick: “I don’t come running like a dog. I’m the herd leader and I have my dignity. I do like visiting, but I’m more discriminating than the boys. I prefer to watch and make sure the visitors aren’t harming my herd. There are times when a visitor will pique my interest and then I’ll visit, but they’re special. If you ask me to interact with certain people I’ll comply, but my preference is to choose the ones that I’m drawn to.”

Pet Chatter: “You stood back and let Thyme rule the water? What made you do that? It was greatly appreciated.” (Thyme is a lower-ranking gelding in the herd.)

Rick: “Thyme needed to drink. It made him more secure to play dominance games. Even though it was just posturing, it helped him feel more secure and able to drink his fill. My job is to take care of the herd. Thyme needed to go through that ritual for his mental and physical well being. It did not in any way threaten my position as leader. I was setting a good example for the others which is also one of my responsibilities. When the herd functions as a team it is stronger and safer.”

Pet Chatter: “How do you feel about your saddle? Do you have any discomfort?”

Rick: “I prefer no saddle. The saddle squeezes me and is uncomfortable. It’s like wearing a girdle and I can’t fully breathe. I feel constricted and can’t enjoy our riding time. Everything else is fine. I love our wide-open spaces and all the yummy grass. I feel good about my herd and am pleased with the way things run so smoothly.”

[His guardian remarked that she had been over tightening the girth as the saddle tended to slip on his round barrel. Thus the girdle reference was quite meaningful.]

What about your herd? What interesting things have you observed? Are you able to detect different personalities or quirks? Please share your anecdotes in our comments section below.

October Carnival of the Horse

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Thanks to Janet Roper for hosting the October 2008 Carnival of the Horse and including my series on colic.