Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.
Dear Katie, I am a 9 hand tall Shetland pony. I can’t think of anything to be thankful for. Can you help me? I can only think about things that upset me, like small hay rations and fences. Signed, Ungrateful
Dear Ungrateful, what you focus on increases, so be thankful for the small, good things in your life, such as:
-the times your “owner” accidently leaves the gate open
-the times the electric fence is turned off
-the pasture buddies that your “owner” didn’t bring home to eat your food
-the lush grass on the septic drainfield
If you focus on these things, soon your life will overflowing with riches.- Katie
Katie was the proud winner of this year-end award jacket, which I ended up wearing since she can’t wear a jacket. She also won a blanket, tailbag and even a large jug of shampoo! The shampoo is almost as big as she is and should last until the next millennium.
Katie’s weight loss program is not going well due to Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings Time is an evil plot to get people in the northern climes to buy more coffee.
When you add the gray clouds and cold rain of Seattle to short days, it’s hard to get motivated to exercise your overweight pony.
Katie is OK with that. She is happy to eat and not exercise. In fact, it may be her dream life, though I think she likes to get out and spook at things at shows and trails. If we get a dry day I can take her out for a hike.
Last night she practiced her spooking by pawing her feed pan, sending her dinner flying and spooking at it. Now, remember, Katie is 19 1/2 years old and has been eating for that entire time so she should not be scared of her food.
But she is Katie, so spooking at her food is just part of who she is. She’s naturally suspicious, which she believes has kept her alive for 19 1/2 years. But it is a little bit the opposite- she is lucky someone puts up with her spooking because she is so darn cute. She also has good points: she falls asleep while you clip her, she does tricks, she loves to let kids groom, braid her and pick her feet.
November is a time to be thankful and count your blessings. I count Katie among mine. If you own a horse, you are quite lucky. Sometimes the horse wasn’t what your plans said a horse should be, but exactly the horse you needed. That’s Katie.
Katie is finally back, since this is her blog. I took her out of the pasture to ground drive her and found out she is so fat her harness won’t fit. So I lunged her (made her trot around the round pen) and had her jump a few jumps. Then we went for a walk up the road for the first time in months.
She turned into a snorting, prancing little fireball. Things that she walked past two months ago without batting an eye now required hyperventilating. This is one reason why Katie did not become my driving horse.
In contrast, I took Macho the mini gelding down the road and he walked past tall grass, decaying tomato plants and a shrub without fear. He even ignored the goat. Katie bumped her nose on my hand and calmed down enough to walk with energy and snorting but no really bad behavior.
Katie needs to lose about 25 lbs in order to fit into her harness. She has been eating more than her share of the hay since Macho eats slower due to his senior teeth.
First it was my bike. The gears locked up an unpedalable position and the front wheel threatened to fall off. So I couldn’t ride it. Then my kids got a pony that was too small for me to ride. Slowly I ended up with a farm full of unridable things.
It was a source of secret shame. I had horses but nothing to ride. And I liked to ride. Soon I realized I was not alone. Tannia’s grandma has six evil ponies and she said she’d trade them all for one ridable horse.
Then a friend confessed she was horse shopping because she had 7 lame horses at home. Two of them belonged to a boarder who had disappeared, but still. Seven lame horses lived in her pasture.
As time went on, I discovered people who had unrideable pasture pets of every persuasion. It is amazing how many ways there are for a horse to be unrideable. One horse has a mystery lameness. Another has early arthritis, navicular, neurologic problems, is a chronic spooker, has back problems, ringbone, is partially blind, was abused as a yearling, rears, etc.
If you think you have problems, try being a horse. In my past, most horses I knew were rideable. In that state of affairs, a lame or dangerous horse went on the slaughter truck. I am not condoning the way it was done. As a teen my dream was to have a retirement farm and save them all. I wonder if that karma has come back to get me.
I do only have three. Two are minis and one is a pony, so that is technically only 1 unrideable horse if you add them up. And the pony is drivable. Kind of. Needs work. But they’re cute and bring me a lot of joy.
I got the gears on my bike fixed. It still kind of squeaks and rattles, but it’s a 25 year old bike. It rides great and is a lot less fickle than a horse.
Most every blog seems to offer profound insights into parenting, social issues, tasty recipes or travel to exotic locations.
You won’t find any of that here. Not that I am not a parent, have insights on social issues, concoct tasty recipes or travel to exotic locales like Des Moines, IA. I could post my latest recipe for jello salad. It involves radishes and green jello for that holiday look.
Or I could talk about my inability to overcome my jealousy of other moms whose hair lays flat when they get up in the morning and whose children don’t call each other stinky and jab each other in the back seat of the car. But that’s been done.
I could also post stunning pictures of hummingbirds, since one just buzzed by head. But that would involve getting up to get the camera. So no stunning pictures of hummingbirds today.
So, what’s left? Horses. Or maybe a horse-shaped jello salad. Made in Des Moines, IA . By hummingbirds. But no, you won’t find even that here. Instead you get this picture of Katie. Have a great Labor Day!
If your miniature horse texts you, here is a quick cheat sheet:
SHT- stale horse treats
YCTH- you call this hay
NMF- need more food
OTEMF- other horse eating my food
DCV – don’t call vet
GNF- get new farrier
BMG- buy more grain
GROPB- get rid of pasture buddy
CWHF- can’t work, hurt hoof
CWTN- can’t work, taking nap
IOFL- I’m on front lawn
With the strange phenomenon called summer continuing, I haven’t been writing very much. We haven’t seen much sun in recent years, so instead of being hunched up over a caffeinated beverage squinting in the gray gloom of the Pacific Northwest, I have been outdoors enjoying the sun.
And Katie, like Pigpen, emits a cloud of dust when she walks. Everything is dry. It’s not quite dry enough to stop the grass from growing though. It’s green and dry. So we still have to mow.
The mornings are getting cold and fall is creeping up with the promise of chill and rain. One day the sunshine will be over and the days will be viewed through windshield wipers and the hoods of raincoats. It will be dark before 4 pm and not much brighter at noon.
Katie has one more show to humiliate me at this year. It will be on Labor Day if we decide to go. It depends on how much ego I need to burn if I will go. People always think Katie looks cute as she humiliates me.
This show will involve jumping, so she will either fly over the jumps perfectly like she does at home or pretend to never have seen a jump in her life, stomp on my feet and knock over the ones she doesn’t refuse. She might fly over one just to show she could do it if she wanted to.
We might also try Liberty class again. In that class, I chase her around with a plastic bag on a stick while she spazzes out to Disco Inferno (her music). Then I attempt to catch her when the music stops. If she is really pissed off about being chased around with the plastic bag, she might not let me catch her. Then we’d be disqualified. Or she could want me to catch her and we’d get clapping and a ribbon. Hopefully not a black ribbon, though. She got a black ribbon for fourth place at the last show. I put that one in the garage behind some stuff.
Katie makes sure I don’t get big ideas about winning fantastic prizes and world championships. Every now and then she decides to be on my side and we end up with a good placing. But I never expect one, because Katie’s not the kind of horse who aspires to worldly success. World domination, maybe, but not worldly success.