Archive for July 2009
I thought it was about time I showed a picture of Vinnie, the horse with the cut, that showed his pretty face. We’ve seen plenty of his other end.
He has a beautiful Arab head and expression; notice his patient eye. He’s put up with a lot of doctoring with grace. I’m going to try for a better portrait. It’s so hard to get a really good one.
His owner sent us four cartons of ice cream a day or two ago. Four different flavors of Schwann’s. We’ve only tried the chocolate peanut butter so far, but it was delicious. Thank you, Debbie!
I’m feeling a little uneasy about our bird population. A week or so ago, I noticed a house finch acting unusually tame. It hardly bothered to hop away as I scattered seed. This morning, when I went out to turn on a sprinkler, there was an English sparrow sitting beside it that acted the same way. He looked bright and alert, but seemed uncoordinated as he hopped out of my way. There hasn’t been much report of West Nile this year, but we could still get some. At least most, if not all, of the horses have been vaccinated. But there are a lot of people out here in the mornings and evenings. I hope they’re all using lots of repellent.
I ran across this panorama view of old oaks in a sea of goldfield wildflowers. The pictures were taken this spring, on a picture-taking day trip Marion and I went on. I wish wildflower season lasted a little longer.
With the weather routinely well over 100, I haven’t ridden for a long time. It’s not too bad today, though the humidity is up a bit — for Bakersfield, that is; 41% at noon.
Maybe I’ll go out pretty soon and see if Duffy remembers who I am.
but not two back; maybe one. I’m talking about Vinnie’s cut, which I’ve been recording here.
Next comes a pretty picture, for those who don’t want to look at an ugly (but much better) cut.
Read the rest of this entry »
A few days ago, one of our boarders went over to a horse rescue operation on the coast and adopted a horse.
Now, in the past, this has seldom worked out well. Rescue horses tend to be battered old veterans of the race track, back yard colts who have reached two or three without ever seeing a farrier, let alone a saddle, or horses who have bluffed down a series of owners and gotten too spoiled for anyone but a professional to work with. But this looks like a pretty good mare.
According to the rescuers, she is a six-year old, jet black, Arab/Dutch Warmblood cross. That seems right; she looks like a small warmblood, except for her elegant Arab ears, and moves like one. They said she was brought in some months ago, skin and bones. She’s a little lean, and lacking in muscle, but that’s usual in an underfed horse. She moves soundly, and is broke enough that her adopters rode her before they brought her home. Time will tell whether she will make a good horse for them.
With the current economic situation, we’re probably going to see a lot of decent horses at rescue operations. The problem will be that donations to such organization are going to get hard to find. At least hay is cheap this year; perhaps that will help them hold out.
I’ve been collecting (in photos) unusual horse colors, off and on, for a while. I’ve been meaning to get this mare for a while.
She is a bay roan. She could be called a red roan, but bay roan is more accurate. Genetically, she is a bay horse (reddish-brown with black mane, tail, legs, and ear-tips) with a roan gene. That gives an overlay of white hairs distributed through the coat. My Duffy is a chestnut roan — a dark red color all over, with a sprinkling of white hairs. This mare has more white intermixed into her coat than he does.
I wrote about Duffy’s color on my old blog, pointing out that roan is a color that has a lot of seasonal change. In the winter, Duffy looks solid chestnut. Then he goes through a “pink” stage, ending up with a light roaning throughout his coat.
This mare has a lot more roaning than he does, though not as much as some. I’ve seen pictures of horses that were almost all white; again, except for mane, tail, head, and legs. If I understand it correctly, the roan gene is activated by body heat, so the cooler parts of the body (where bone is close to the surface) are not affected. But it’s complex, and I don’t claim to understand genetics. For instance, this mare has a lot of white in her mane and tail, where Duffy has almost none.
Notice, too, the darker spots in her coat, especially on her rump. This sometimes leads to a roan being mistaken for an Appaloosa; but these spots are not present at birth. They appear to mark the spots of minor injuries, but are not scars. It’d be interesting to watch a scratch on a roan and see if the hair comes in darker. Duffy hasn’t cooperated; all of his scratches have been on his head, from sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong.
The heat wave, that is. It’s been below 100 for two days in a row now, which means an official end to this one. The predictions are for it to go right back up again, but we’re over the hump. The average daily temperatures are starting to go down.
Still, we’ve got plenty of heat left, and things are really busy in the morning, then everyone goes home. In the evenings things pick up again.
Yesterday one of the customers came rushing in to report that a car had gone off of the highway and was on fire. Luckily, the fire turned out to be nothing more than a big cloud of dust, and the car had recovered and gone on. How they made that much dust (it was still obvious when I looked out of the door two or three minutes later) and managed to stay on the road, I can’t imagine.
We haven’t had a crash nearby since that terrible wreck last year, when two men were killed and a wheel came completely over the four-lane street to dent a horse trailer on the other side. We can definitely live without any more. I still shudder to think what might have happened if there had been someone in the way of that wheel.
I hope the driver yesterday learned to respect curves, but I doubt it.
No picture today; I’m allowed only so much space, so I’m saving it for a good one.
Here is some of our loot from the past few days. Let’s see — the tomatoes are from Kay; the eggplant and some of the squash from Marion; the okra from Frank; more squash from Billy’s sister Tie; and onions from the Farmers’ Market. Maybe a vegetable stew?
Billy says that one of our boarders, who usually owns a racehorse or two, informed him last night that a horse they had sold a while back won a race. At forty to one. And they didn’t have a bet on him. This is the same lady who owns Vinnie, the horse with the ugly cut.
I think I’ll go down and pick her some of those four-leaf clovers, as soon as the water goes down enough.