Saturday, April 23, 2011
How Little I Know About Horses
My mystery Shadow Horse was given a brief review in the March issue of Equine Journal and the editor was nice enough to send me a copy. It's been a while since I read a horse magazine from cover to cover, and even though I have been riding and caring for horses for decades (that's me doing what I do the most with my gelding Relish), I realized as I flipped through that what I know about horses could fit in a bucket compared to how much there is to know which appears to be an ocean.
There were articles and ads for a breed of horse called Gypsy Vanner, a draft type with gorgoeous black and white markings and flowing white feathers. Huh? I've never seen one, and all I could think of was the time needed to keep those feathers spotless in this mucky spring weather. Next a blurb for 'pasture in a box' caught my eye. It's a system for growing your own forage. What? Is this what they mean by "I'll do anything for my horse?" Actually, what I really thought was that I bet all I would grow is dandelions.
The next article "Chore Busters" had me drooling. Now I want a pasture vacuum, a UTV and bedding sifter. An article on horse manes got me worrying that my gelding's out-of-control hair-do dos not enhance his conformation, and another article on insurance had me wondering, "What insurance?"
Worse were the ads for barns that had more square footage and expensive hardward and siding than my house, trailers that had more appliances than my kitchen and bath, and products to treat problems I'd never heard about.
The most serious and enlightening news, however, was an article about parasite control. Prevention is hard enough--bot flies are ferociously determined in Virginia--but after reading, I am now paranoid that since these cringe-inducing parasites are developing resistence to de-wormers, I'll be spending my spring not riding, but battling roundworms and pinworms along with the stinkbugs and Japanese beetles that love my gardens.
Okay readers--fess up. What is it that you don't know about horses?