Thursday, March 19, 2009


The farrier was here today. Along with his sharp knives and rasps, he often brings interesting insight into my horses. I described the Phantom horse I brought here before winter. Though right from an auction, this pony was calm, laid-back, quiet. Bullied by the other horses, he became fearful and now is skittish. Was this psychological damage from being picked on?

Being bottom of the rung should've made the horse more meek, he said, know he wasn't boss. Yet, now he seems mostly flightly. "Sometimes....." he paused, "...if they are sick when you get them...."

Well, yes he was quite sick...

"...or if they have a lot of worms...."

Well, he had a belly full...

"It may be that you are seeing his personality when he isn't sick coming through."

In other words, he was such an awesome horse when I got him because he was half dead. Great. I must think on this. Do I have the time to work with this horse?

Most of the farriers, equine dentists and chiropractors that come to my barn enjoy a good talk after they work and sometimes give me interesting tidbits about my neighbors. For example, a barn down the road sports Paso Fino show horses. One horse there is worth $600,000 USD. That just blows my mind. Not only that a horse could cost so much, but also that anyone could even afford that! Amazing!

Speaking of affording, he mentioned a hefty vet bill he had to pay for two surgeries on his French Mastiff. It seems the dog ate a sheet. A sheet?? As in a dryer sheet? No, a twin-sized sheet. Whole thing. Threads visible in her mouth and coming out her bottom. (I wondered aloud could he not pull it out???) It seems it wasn't the first time the dog had eaten strange items, and he had pulled things out before, but this was tied up inside her. Why ever would the dog eat a sheet? Surely it has no taste. His only explanation was that the dog was confined to her evening crate, and that her "elevator did not reach the top floor". It is recovering nicely.

Rested up from bending over the precious toenails of my six horses (of various sizes), he went on to his next visit down the road to trim some miniature donkeys.

One thing I do love about this time of year is waking in the morning to a gentle rain with the window open, a sweet warm breeze making it difficult to want to get up.

I am reading Mr. Popper's Penguins to William. I suppose it is a measure of the absurdity of my animal care situation that I don't think it is all that far-fetched that Mr. Popper opens his windows to the winter air, hoses down his living room, so that the kids and penguins can play and slide. Although you know I don't like cold.

A "friend" gave me some Amish friendship bread (sourdough) starter. Now, she is a friend, and I put it in quotes because the starter becomes something like a curse. Not wanting to kill this live thing, yet it is growing exponentially, as by the end of the instructions, you have a "bread" (cake, really) that will put on 10 pounds by smelling it, and four new baggies of starter. You then go around trying to find three or four suckers friends who will adopt one of the starters. If you haven't a large circle, most friends will have already had the starter, and will run when they see you coming like you were selling Girl Scout cookies. It is the best tasting bread you'll ever eat, though, as as long as you work like an Amishman, you'll not gain a pound.


Kristen Painter said...

Mmmm...bread...No, must not think about bread. Even though we made cookies yesterday.

And the dog that ate the sheet? Mind boggling.

pita-woman said...

Bed sheet, that's a new one. When I think of all the things mine have eaten (especially Smokey) and lived to pass it on successfully, it's amazing.
600k for a horse! I'm not sure I'd pay that much for a house!

debra said...

I was given one of those starters----once. Now I call them chain letter starters.

Brother Tobias said...

Farriers are a valuable source of advice - the Social Secretary pays heed to hers as much as any vet. He developed and patented a kinder alternative to the twitch over here, currentl marketed as the 'Aerborn Comanche Calmer'.

Cloudia said...

This is SUCH an excellent post!

You let me live on a farm,with horses and penguins in the livingroomm and I show you what it means to live on the water.
What a great friendship! Thanks & Aloha

Kristina said...

I want one!


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