Luckiest horse in the barn Emilie ain’t. We had that big laminitis scare in December which turned out to actually have been a massive hoof abscess instead (‘biggest damned thing I’ve seen in a while’, the farrier said). That was good news—she got to lose the mouth guard, and she certainly was not unhappy about that.
Trust Emilie to finally get the vet’s word that she’s fine and promptly get injured again. This time she got into a fight with a gelding in the field (same one she was cheerfully handing out sex ed lessons with two weeks previous) and now she’s got a lame hind leg and severe kick injuries on the front.
Some days I don’t think there will ever be a day when Emilie and I are in good health at the same time.
Oh, the fjord at the top of the page? That’s Loke, one of the resident senior geldings who felt like modelling on a hot spring day.
There’s a certain something between the husband and the horse. I feel peaceful just watching him and Emilie like this.
There’s definitely also something to be said for the first real spring day in February. Incidentally, these will be the last pictures posted from my old camera; I may have gone and acquired a new Canon 550D yesterday.
Our barn has fairies. Invisible little helpers that turn up when no one’s watching and suddenly your box is clean and the hay’s been put out for the evening. We’re debating hiding little chocolatey gifts for the fairies to attract more of them. Barn fairies are nice.
Barn fairies are the kind of horse owners who not only do their own work at the barn but also step in when they know someone else is busy or stressed or not feeling too hot. They don’t announce it. They don’t expect anything in return. They just like to put a smile on someone else’s face and they weren’t doing anything else at the time.
I like barn fairies. A barn that has barn fairies is a barn that has the mental surplus and capacity for people to look not only the horses but also the other people. It’s a good place to be. It’s a healthy place to be.
Have you ever seen one? A monstrous, white dinosaur that reaches all the way up to your knee while it fluffs its ominous black tail feathers and gives you the death glare?
Emilie isn’t usually afraid of chickens. There were chickens on the farm we bought her from, two years ago. Chickens aren’t frightening. Heck, when we moved to the new barn two weeks ago, she seemed happy to see chickens again. Chickens were a comforting sight.
The arrival of another new pony this week changed things. The new guy is extremely stressed out and has little to no experience being handled by humans. He seems to never really have learned how to socialize either, whether with horses or humans. New guy is neither dumb nor mean but obviously, there’s been elevated stress levels in the herd (since then, he’s been put in a separate pasture with two older geldings to help him settle in).
I’ve probably mentioned that Emilie is firmly convinced that she is a boy. The other day she went into full stallion mode as I was walking her in from pasture. Those who’ve seen me walking Emilie on a lead know that in our case this means, she walks, I kind of lean in over her for support, and she paces herself to be my living crutch. She’s a very caring horse that way. And protective.
Particularly against devilsaurs.
The farm’s chickens had decided to nap out in the courtyard. Emilie came to a crashing halt, puffed herself up with tail high and round neck like a stallion defending his herd. Then she shouldered me away until she was firmly between me and the vicious raptor gang. We walked sideways to the barn door, her shielding me with her own heroic flesh.
I’m still giggling gratefully. Giggling because it looked friggin’ hilarious, and grateful because I own a horse who sees me as a herd mate that she wants to protect.
Whenever I visit barns there is one thing that always draws my eye: The tack rack. Are the bits clean? Very often the answer is a resounding no. To me, that’s a deal breaker. If you can’t be bothered to get your hands dirty cleaning the bit after riding, you have no place using a bit to begin with. Don’t go telling me your horse is your best friend if you’re willing to force your best friend to suck on a bacteria-infected, filthy piece of metal.
I’ll be honest: I hate washing bits. So this is one of numerous reasons I ride bitless.