Monthly Archives: August 2017

I Know It’s August, But……..

When I lived up north I hated the fact that summer was almost over.  Well surprise! it is. Down here, we’ve got several months to go.  However, I do not let go of that old habit of preparing for the cooler and even colder winter months, starting in August.

It’s not quite time to pull out your winter underwear, but it is time to start thinking about washing those sheets and blankets (if you haven’t already).  I pressure wash my winter blankets, and it’s a lot nicer to do it when it’s 90 degrees and the back spray feels good, rather than when it’s cooler and you don’t want to get wet.

It’s also a good time to go over the sheets and blankets to see what needs to be repaired before everyone else descends on your repair person.  Besides, if you’re the repair person you don’t want to waste one of those beautiful fall days washing or repairing when you could be riding.

Your horses should be starting to lose their summer coats so don’t forget to curry them before they start doing it themselves on trees or fences.  That creates a whole different set of problems.

Well it’s still too early to worry about oiling the clips (but that’s always a good idea) and finding the heating units for the water, so do what you have to do and go and enjoy, the beach for now, and the glorious fall riding in a month or two.

I do miss the beautiful colors of the fall leaves.  Hey, did anyone ever notice that the colors seemed much brighter and more vibrant on a cloudy day than a sunny one.  No kidding,  if you haven’t, look and see them this year.

I know this post is probably like those commercials that run over and over again.  But if I need to be pushed into doing something I don’t really want to, I’m sure some of you do too.

Just “Get’er Done!”


Before I start, I want to thank my friend Louise for making me smile.  As I entered my web page to write this I saw her comment of You Go Girl!  I somehow didn’t get a notice it had come in.  And I also smiled at my friend Nancy’s comment, which I had read the other day.  No my doctor is just a regular, non horse person.  You’ve got to remember that non horse people just don’t get our breed.  Now be kind and forgiving, they are just clueless.  But it made for a good, pot stirring, post.

I was sitting here being a little sad.  A good friend and wonderful neighbor just passed away.  He was the one who helped me build this website.  I am computer challenged and I’m not sure how I will handle this site if anything goes wrong.

I had no idea what to put on my site, but he helped me format it and gave me suggestions as to what needed to be there.  He prompted me on how to word things to make them more appealing on the internet.  He reviewed what I wrote and approved of everything I did.  Then he made a suggestion that I post “Horse Riding Tips – 10 Things You Should Do Before Getting On Your Horse”, he said that it would generate interest.  Needless to say I’ve been posting things ever since.  Now every time I go to this web page, I will think of him.  He battled cancer for two years.  He had more courage and determination than anyone I have ever met.  I always told him he was my hero. He is someone I will always look up to and try to be like.  Now Mark was not a horse person, so to speak.  He was in Marketing.  His wife, however, is very much a horse person, so he knew about the whole drive and life style.

So pondering on those lines I started thinking of all the horse people in my life who have helped me become the person I am.  Those that have given me not only knowledge, but taught me to ride by the seat of my pants.  Some of them have passed on, but some are still here.  We keep in touch via Facebook.  I think, after I write this, I will get on Facebook and send a few Thank You notes.

The people at the barn I grew up at loved horses and loves kids.  They taught us to teach our students how to love and respect horses.  They treated us like part of the family.  I try to pass this love onto my students to this day.  Of course I’ve researched and expanded on what I was originally taught.  There have also been professional horsemen in my life that taught me many things I didn’t agree with.  I thank them also for showing me how not to do things and it causes me to reflect on what I believe is right and wrong.  I hold true to the values of these lessons.

I know in every ones life there have people who have taught them and helped them to grow.  Made them into the horse person they are.  Don’t be afraid to go back and thank them.  Let them know that they made a difference in, not only your life, but all the lives of the horses that you have encountered over the years.  Or perhaps will encounter in the future.

As I always say – Teach what you have learned and one less horse will suffer from ignorance, and never stop learning.

Pass it on.

The Sense Of Touch, Don’t Be Afraid To Use It

We really don’t realize how much we touch things.  I’m not talking just to hold something, I mean really touch things.  Sometimes it’s for comfort and sometimes not so much.  Ever touch something just to see if it’s alive?  I usually do that through a stick.  Yuk!  There’s the loving touch that you may give someone, whether it be human or animal.  I love touching my animals.  Just a soft, almost caressing touch.  They respond very well, with love in their eyes.  There’s always the Wet Paint sign.  We all are tempted to touch and see if it’s still wet.  Why????

However, there is more to the touch than sharing your love.  Did you ever have a hay or hair splinter in your sock or piece of clothing?  Every time you move you feel that prickly sensation.  I hate when you shave a muzzle and have one of those tiny little pokey things somewhere.  You try to find it and pluck it out, but it eludes you.  Especially when it’s in your bra.  You take your foot out of your boot.  Look for the thing.  You put your foot back in your boot or shoe and there it is again.  I’ve pulled half the threads out of my sock and still can’t find it.  It’s so annoying, and scratchy.

Well did you ever think how it must drive your horse crazy when he/she has something poking them?  They can’t sit down and pull at things trying to find that one tiny sticker that’s driving them crazy.  Maybe it’s a sticker caught in their saddle pad, leg wrap, blanket, or girth.  One tiny little pokey, annoying, scratchy thing.  Have you ever just decided you can’t find it on yourself, so you try to ignore it?  Doesn’t work, does it?  Well they can’t tell you, and they can’t find it.  Always run your hands over a pad, fuzzy girth or any girth, leg wrap, blanket.  Yes it takes a little time, but if it was going on your body with stickers in it, you sure would.  I hate pulling stickers, or seedlings off socks before I wash them, but they may end up in my underwear, and I don’t want to have to deal with that nonsense.

Hears one that caught my attention the other day, and that’s why I decided to write on this subject.  I went to put fly masks on the horses.  As I was running my hand up to the top I felt something poke my finger.  As fly masks get some miles on them, the mesh starts to unravel, and there are those little poky things.  You don’t have to throw the mask out, just trim the poky ends with a scissor, but check on them often.  Just imagine a horse having to walk around all day with all these little spikes scratching against their faces.  Poor babies.

When I Hunted I used fuzzy girths, I still use fuzzy girths, and boy do they catch sticker clusters.  You know how they hurt when they are on your clothing.

Be mindful and run your hands over everything before you place it on your horse. He/she will be so grateful that they have such a wonderful human who looks after their comfort.

Now if I could only find that hay splinter that’s in my sock, I could go to the barn and feed.

On Being A Girl, Guys, Listen Up

Now wait a minute guys, this is going to be very useful for you in the long run.

Okay I’m a long way off from being a “girl” anymore, a “woman” or “lady” is pushing it a little now a days.  A “senile ole bat” works for me.  But don’t tell me I can’t do things.  That’s like waving something red in front of a bull.  The doctor tried that the other day.  Bob is down with his back, so I’ve been doing all the mowing.  Our doctor freaked.  “You can’t do that!”  How many of us like that kind of challenge?  Okay, bring it on!  You just don’t tell a horsewomen they can’t unload grain and hay, mow, use a hammer, saw or whatever.  The men in our lives, if any, aren’t always there, but the destruction that horses create is.  So the doctors next question was, “Well how long do you think you can keep this up?”  “Oh pretty much until I die” was my answer.  So he checked the muscles in my arms and said okay.  Bob told him I can handle the tractor and zero turn just fine.  I know he’s not really used to a horsewoman.  Some men just don’t get that we can handle a thousand pound horse, and anything that goes along with it.  We are not all sitting home watching Soap Operas, or Oprah, and eating Bon Bons.  We are not going to the mall and shop ’til we drop.  (Unless it’s a tack sale.)  And the truth of the matter is we like it this way.

Oh sure we like men, and if they want to put up fencing and do whatever needs doing, we’re fine with that, go out to dinner, you bet.  Just respect us for having a brain, using it, and doing what needs to be done, when we have to.  I know I’m a woman, still mostly blonde, but don’t put me down for that.  Celebrate who we are, capable partners who are not afraid to get our hands dirty.  Working side by side with a man to get whatever needs doing accomplished.

The doctor then asked me what plans I have for the future.  Have I even thought about a time when I can no longer do these things.  I guess I have, a little.  The boys at the feed store will deliver and unload the grain for me.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to sit on a tractor, cut grass and play pole bending with the trees.  I tried to explain to him that there is just no reason to get up in the mornings if there weren’t those happy faces, with ears perked forward waiting for you.  I know I’ve witnessed my older horsewoman friends watch the number of horses in their barns dwindle in number.  I watched where there were no more foals being born in their pastures.  We all do get to that point.  But seriously, do we want to rush it?  Do we just want to quit and say I’m old so I’ll sit in my rocking chair and wait to die.  No Way!  We will do what we can do, while we can do it, and ride quietly into the sunset on our gallant steed.  Even if only in our minds.  We will look younger, feel better, and out do any of those health club yuppies, or whatever they call themselves now a days, any day.  Our horses are our reason, they are our goal, and everything we have to do for them is our purpose in life.  It’s what keeps us going.

There are times we like being treated like a lady, but respect us for all the facets of our lives and personalities.  It makes for a great friendship, and a wonderful marriage.




A friend, actually x husband, just called to see how we made out with Tropical Storm Emily yesterday.  Sore subject.  It went above us, and it went below us.  It’s always the same story.  Now I’m not saying that I like storms, but our pond is drying up again, and the fish are all going to die, again.  We needed the rain, Tampa didn’t.

My point is that the weather people can’t get it right here in Florida.  When I lived in New Jersey, you saw it coming across Pennsylvania and bam, you’re going to get it.  Here you listen to the weather every morning, and sometimes in the evening, and you still don’t get what they tell you.  Now I know it has a lot to do with the fact that our weather is influenced by the winds coming off the Atlantic and the Gulf.  Living on a hill (Yes we have hills in Florida) seems to deflect the rain.  Which in one way is a blessing, and in other ways a curse.  You see this storm coming, you watch its progress on the radar, then you watch it split and go around you.  Very frustrating after you’ve tracked down all the horses, run them into the barn, run in the house and closed all the windows and then turn around and undo everything.

So why the old Fairy Tale about the boy who cried “Wolf”?  Because sooner or later you’re going to get hit.  Or so they tell me.

Every year the state puts out a pamphlet about Hurricane preparedness.  Our local horse newspaper puts out an article about being prepared for your animals.  These things are important, but when nothing happens for years at a time, people stop reading and stop being prepared.

Most “People Shelters” won’t take dogs (although they are being persuaded to by local authorities).  It seems more people are choosing to stay at home with their pets than leave and go to safety.  This includes people who have been threatened by Wild Fires and Hurricanes.  The Fairgrounds here in Tampa will take horses, but there aren’t enough stalls for the amount of horses we have in Florida.  So what do you do?

Now here we’re talking about Hurricanes and Tropical Storms, but there are Fires, Floods, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, and other disasters that occur in other areas of the country.  Although Tornadoes and Earthquakes do not give you any warnings.  Being able to track down animals after the fact is.

Have an evacuation plan in mind.  Also have all your paperwork, and a Disaster Kit available and ready to go.  I always keep my horse trailer stocked with first aid necessities, Coggins on all the horses, and extra equipment.

Recommended articles for your Disaster Kit, whether you live in Florida or other places.

  • Food, water, and bowls, for each pet , buckets for horses.
  • Paper towels, plastic bags, and spray disinfectant.
  • Extra collars, harnesses, and leashes for all animals including cats.  Halters and lead lines for horses.
  • Copies of your pet’s medical & vaccination records, including Coggins for horses.
  • A two weeks supply of medications, along with a copy of the current prescription.
  • Recent photographs of you and your pets
  • Crates or traveling carriers large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around, these should be labeled with your pet’s name, your name, and where you can be reached.  If you can’t be reached give the name of a person you have designated as a home base.  Do this with people too in case you and your family get separated.  Have a relative, may be in a different state, that everyone knows to check in with.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Cat litter or newspaper.
  • A manual can opener.
  • A muzzle or materials such as gauze (to act as a muzzle).
  • Pet comfort items such as blankets and toys.
  • A list of hotels and boarding kennels that accept pets.  Make sure they are evacuation safe sites.
  • Detailed instructions for someone else in case you cannot care for your pets.
  • Microchip all your animals – This is always a good plan.

This article was mainly on dogs, cats, etc.  I threw in a couple of things for horses, but if you go back to my post on June 29th, 2016 “Be Prepared” it is more clear on what to do for horses.  We as horse owners usually have a multitude of other animals, because that’s who we are, so I thought this was an appropriate article.

As I was telling a friend this morning.  How do you tell the weather forecast in Florida? If you look up in the sky, it’s cloudy and your face gets wet – it’s raining.  If you look up in the sky and it’s blue and you get sun burn – it’s not raining.  See I can forecast the weather too, and I don’t make the big bucks.

So just because the weather people keep telling you that the “The Big One” is coming, just remember, some day it will.  Will you be ready????