Shut Down by Lightning

smellshorsey Archive on July 10, 2008, 1:21 am


Lightning will strike twice and I'm here to prove it. I haven't been posting or visiting lately because I haven't had Internet access. The first time it struck and knocked out my modem. We have cable Internet, so I had to wait for the repair guy to come out this way. That took a few days. The modem was partially damaged but he connected me a different way and I was back online. Then, on July Fourth, God put on a tremendous fireworks show with a great blessing of rain and enough lightning to power
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Tadpoles and Mosquito Larvae

smellshorsey Archive on July 3, 2008, 1:10 am


There's a giant puddle around our watering trough. That's good news because it means that we've had rain. But that's also bad news because that means I'm raising my very own home-grown and hungry mosquitoes. There are squiggly larvae everywhere. So, I went to the pest control section of my handy-dandy feed store, which sells everything from farm fashions (really nice stuff!) to mailboxes to plumbing and electrical supplies, and checked out my choices. They had exactly the right thing. A little
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Man Jumps off Horse and Drowns

smellshorsey Archive on July 2, 2008, 5:06 pm


I'm a worrier, and of all the things I worry about with horses, drowning has not been on my list. A man jumped off of a horse and drowned yesterday. Here's the sad but strange story from The State: MAN DROWNS AFTER JUMP FROM HORSE MYRTLE BEACH -- A 24-year-old Conway man who trained racehorses drowned after he jumped off a horse and into a pond, according to a preliminary autopsy. Jonathan Durant, who worked at Nobles stable on Rogers Road, died at 10:24 a.m. Monday after the horse he was riding
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Manure Thieves Welcome

smellshorsey Archive on June 27, 2008, 8:12 pm


the smoke bothers me so we don't burn our manure pile. It grows and grows until a composting friend or relative comes to get it (and they are always so excited). But after a while, even your friends and relatives don't want your manure anymore. So, when I read that there were manure thieves on the loose, I was excited. I thought I might put out a sign, "Manure Thieves Welcome. Steal All You Want." But it turns out they're in Germany. Here's the story, excerpted from Fox News. There
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The Working Student

smellshorsey Archive on June 25, 2008, 9:26 pm


At 13, Lily's too young to get a summer job, other than babysitting. There are no babies that need sitting in our neighborhood. But something even better has come through -- a neighbor and friend who does competitive driving and dressage needed a working student. So, Lily has a job, a place to go in the morning and she's learning a lot. Right in the neighborhood. I just hope it's paying off for her employer/teacher. (Lily gets lessons, formal and informal, in exchange for riding horses, doing light
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Looking for Good News in a World Where Starving Horses are Left to Die on the Side of the Road

smellshorsey Archive on June 21, 2008, 4:02 pm


I'm down to two bales of hay but know where I can get some more -- if they don't sell out first. We've had some rain so surely somebody will be cutting soon. I'm happy to report that my two horses are in good shape. Lucy is, in fact, overweight. She looks like a big orange pumpkin. A shiny, cute, fat pumpkin. All is well at my place. (Except for the stupid whining cat stuck in the hayloft.) I'm telling you all this because sometimes it feels like horses all over America are starving and being
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Time Magazine Reports on Growing Abandoned Horse Problem

smellshorsey Archive on June 16, 2008, 9:51 pm


The growing problem of horses being abandoned because their owners can't afford to keep them has caught the attention of Time magazine. I'm not sure you'll learn anything you don't already know, but here's the link.
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Wonder if They'll Deliver Cat Food to the Hayloft?

smellshorsey Archive on June 15, 2008, 11:10 pm


Here I am, scrambling to find hay, keep Buddy's back relaxed and schedule summer riding lessons around everything else and Dipstick, our FIV-positive barn cat who was my mother's cat nobody wanted, decides that he'll slip up to the hayloft and get stuck there almost every day. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to climb up in the hayloft and get a whiny cat down when you're wearing your pajamas, bathrobe and slide shoes? But I've found a service that will deliver cat food. Wonder if they'll
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Preventing a Sore Back in Horses

smellshorsey Archive on June 14, 2008, 12:01 am


Now that Buddy's better, we're on a program to prevent his sore back from recurring. Here are the written instructions from our vet:This is wonderful news! So now you want to keep a close eye on Buddy, watching for pain to return and catching it before it gets to the bucking/bolting stage.  It would be good to incorporate some strengthening/stretching exercises in his riding.  Your instructor can help you with this- asking him to lift his back, for example: warm up, then either start
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Sore Back Leads to Bad Temper

smellshorsey Archive on June 12, 2008, 10:37 pm


Last week in Lily's lesson Buddy was his evil twin, rushing after jumps, not wanting to transition from the canter to the trot going downhill, and doing some bucking after jumps. It was mostly out of character since (1) it was at the end of a lesson and he was tired and (2) it was mercilessly hot (90s). Who takes off bucking at the end of a lesson in hot weather? Tori, Lily's new teacher, approached me with concern. "I think Buddy hurts," she said. "He shouldn't object to a downward
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Big Brown Snubs Racing After Being Offended by Hooters Tie-In

smellshorsey Archive on June 8, 2008, 2:50 am


Nothing bad happened in the Belmont today, as far as we can tell. Big Brown didn't want to run, and he didn't. When his jockey couldn't get anything out of the horse, he pulled him up. According to the AP story, Big Brown was rank at the start and failed to respond when Desormeaux asked him to run in the last turn. At that point, Desormeaux eased him up. The loss hit Desormeaux especially hard. "This horse is the best I've ever ridden," he said. "Something's wrong, and I took
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Big Brown Turning NASCAR?

smellshorsey Archive on June 7, 2008, 4:03 pm


When I heard that Big Brown was named Big Brown, I didn't think UPS. I thought "big brown horse." Which, while not exactly poetic or inventive, will do. Then I found out that one of his minority owners has Big Brown (UPS) for a client. Whoop de do. I like UPS. They bring me stuff in spite of the fact that the dog tries to run them off. They do a good job. Then I hear that there's a whole marketing campaign waiting on Big Brown's Triple Crown win (if he wins Belmont today). Hmmm. I'm in
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Cat in the Hayloft, Snake in the Stall

smellshorsey Archive on June 4, 2008, 4:26 pm


I've about had it with Dipstick, my mother's cat who lives in my barn. He's a sweet cat and was a wonderful companion to her, but his habit of getting up in the hayloft and whining to get down (he cannot get down on his own, even if left there for days) is way past annoying. I know the old joke about if cats couldn't get themselves out of trees, we'd see cat skeletons everywhere. But the truth is, this cat can't get himself out of the hayloft. Lily figured out a system where we can put him in
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Be Careful What You Name Your Horse

smellshorsey Archive on June 2, 2008, 5:37 pm


I'm so sorry and apologize in advance. I haven't seen this before and I'm afraid that I find low-brow humor funny. The horse's name is Hoof Hearted. You can probably guess the rest.
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If the Grass is Green, Can Hay be Far Behind?

smellshorsey Archive on May 28, 2008, 10:21 pm


Praise the Lord! It's raining. Pouring. We need it. (This photo is not local.) I'm down to my last five bales of hay. My friend and hay supplier is bringing me 10 more square bales in the hope that it will last me until first cutting. The only hay that's been cut in my part of S.C. is hay grown in irrigated fields. The farm where Lily takes her lessons is out (but they have large grass pastures). A wholesaler we rely on in the next county is out. I paid $12.99/bale for two bales of alfalfa a few
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Sometimes You Need to Get Away from Your Horses

smellshorsey Archive on May 28, 2008, 9:49 pm


This photo is of a time-share houseboat on Lake Powell, whose shoreline touches both Arizona and Utah. I've never been, but the photos are breathtaking. You can find out about getting a houseboat timeshare on Lake Powell at Sunrise Peak's Lake Powelll Houseboats It was already humid when I was cleaning the stalls this morning. School gets out next week, and I can't wait to go somewhere where there's a large body of water. I love my horses, but I love me more. Sometimes you just need to get away
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Big Brown Has a Quarter Crack but Will Still Race

smellshorsey Archive on May 26, 2008, 2:15 am


Big Brown, whose owners are hoping will win the Triple Crown after his wins at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, has developed another quarter crack. They're giving him two days off, then fixing the quarter crack. They plan to run him in the Belmont. Here's a quotation from the referenced article: "This is a very, very minor crack," hoof specialist Ian McKinlay said, adding the fissure was about five-eighths of an inch long. "We will put a set of wires in and patch it up."
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Student Not Allowed to Graduate Because He Rode Horse to School

smellshorsey Archive on May 25, 2008, 3:26 pm


Okay, so maybe we all won't be riding our horses places to save money on gas (and to justify spending all that money on hay). With a hat tip to Instapundit, here's a story about a high school student who wasn't allowed to participate in his high school graduation because he rode a horse to school. I'm a little confused by the presentation of facts. It appears that the student rode a horse to school to save money on gas and the principal wouldn't allow that, so the student missed an exam. His grades
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Speaking of Riding Your Horse instead of Driving....

smellshorsey Archive on May 22, 2008, 6:03 pm


In my last post I mused about riding our horses for transportation. I came upon this NYT's story about a police horse who spooked at a backfiring motorcycle and threw his rider, then made his way through NYC to get to his home stable. Surprised this doesn't happen more often. Here's the story: After Throwing Rider, Police Horse Returns Home Alone Aldo, a police horse on routine patrol in one of Manhattan’s busiest sections, may have lost his cool on Friday afternoon — but he didn’t lose
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High Gas Prices Drive Farmer to Use Mules

smellshorsey Archive on May 22, 2008, 5:57 pm


I've often wondered if gas prices got high enough if I would start to ride Buddy or Lucy places instead of driving. Not exactly sure how that would work. For one thing, if I rode Lucy to the grocery store, where would I tie her? (As if I wouldn't have been dumped off on the way when she spooked at something.) And if I bought my groceries, how would I carry them? She thinks grocery bags are the Plastic Bags of Death. Buddy would do better because he's only half Thoroughbred. Unfortunately, that's
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