Katie Says Get Out and Vote

29 Jan

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Katie Understands the Unique Challenges of Being a Miniature Horse.

Dear Katie, I’m a 36 inch tall Shetland pony in Des Moines, Iowa with a dilemma.  I can’t decide if I should caucus for Bernie or Hillary.  I like that Hillary would be the first mare president, but I like Bernie’s hair better.   Who would you choose?- Undecided Voter

Dear Undecided,  It’s voters like you who will swing the election.  It doesn’t matter who you caucus for, just be sure to leave your hay, escape your paddock and trot down to your precinct caucus location.  A wild Shetland barreling into the room should clear the place, and then whoever you choose will win.  If they don’t leave, bite them. Good luck- Katie

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Katie Is All Ears

5 Sep

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Dear Katie, I am a 9.2 hand pony.  I have not gotten a reply to the question I asked in 2014.  I hope you are well and I am still am waiting to hear if it is better to clip your ear hair before a show or leave it long.  Signed, Shetland Pony Problems.

Dear SPP,  thank you for your patience.  I have been trapped in a gravel paddock because my owner wanted me to lose weight.  I was not allowed to eat any grass or go near computers.  My only food was dry hay and vitamins.  The computer is in the kitchen and she was afraid I’d eat grapes or corn chips.  I have finally lost a tiny amount of weight and gotten back to type a reply.

Your ear hair is an important part of your identity.  Do not clip your ear hair or your whiskers.  Or anything.  Look as shaggy and unkempt as possible.  This will keep your owner from taking you to more shows.  – Katie

Katie Explains that When it Rains it Pours

15 Feb

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse or pony.

Dear Katie, I’m 10 hand tall Shetland pony.  I don’t know where spring is.  I’m shedding like crazy and it keeps snowing.  What can I do?  Signed, Snowball

Dear Snowball, here in the Pacific Northwest we don’t get snow storms.  It only snows for decoration, shuts down entire cities for a couple of days and then melts.  An inch of snow here is known as Snowmageddon.  You can move here.  But you will need some rain gear and to learn to drink coffee – Katie

Autocorrect Nightmare: Curse of the Smartphone

23 Jan

Yesterday I was texting our trainer on my new (refurbished cheap) smartphone, proud that I had entered the 21st century.

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After two successful sentences, complete with punctuation, I got too cocky.  I had finally learned to hit the space bar instead of “send” after each word.  Or so I thought.

As I was typing “Duke didn’t bite” (he has a slight biting problem), autocorrect turned “Duke didn’t” into “Duke DIED” and I hit send instead of space.

In a panic of bad typing I attempted to text an explanation that Duke did not die.

I hope I didn’t give her a heart attack!   I am going to turn autocorrect off today after I have the courage to face my dastardly phone again.

Competition: the Rhubarb Connection

13 Jan

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In a book I read awhile ago by Gary Zukav (“The Seat of the Soul”), he suggested competition was the root of violence.   I didn’t understand this when I read it, so it stuck with me.  We compete in horse shows and fairs, and I wasn’t sure how that related to violence.   Our competition involves prancing horses or growing vegetables that compete against other people’s vegetables.  Last year I grew leeks that outdid all other members of the onion family to win the Big Rainbow Ribbon of onions at our community fair.  But I suffered humiliation at the hands of my rhubarb, which received a red danish.

I woke up today finally getting the competition/onion family/prancing horse/violence/rhubarb connection.  It is strange to perform and rank other humans against each other and give some a big prize and put them in descending order.  Or put their work or vegetables in descending order.  No human being is more important or less important than any other.

Do animals compete in nature?  Sure they fight and battle and have dominance and territory.  But they don’t  wreak the violence that humans have done on a large scale across the planet.  They don’t accumulate power beyond what is necessary for survival.

I am not going to stop taking part in shows or putting my rhubarb on the spot at the fair, but I will stop competing.  I am going to work on participating with a different frame of mind.  Maybe I’ll stop competing entirely in the future.  I’m pondering and still not sure where this will lead.  There’s something bigger at work in the world and a change of consciousness is pretty much the only thing capable of saving our world.

A Big Napoleon Complex

6 Jan

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We finally started some serious work with the Dukester.  The pictures are unfortunately still in the camera.  Dukie has a small Napoleon complex.  Or is that a big Napoleon complex?

To help with that, he was forced to wear Katie’s fuzzy pink harness pad for ground driving.  I discovered he also takes a smaller bit that I have, so I had to order a new bit.  And thanks to our trainer, his bridle now fits since his head is extremely small even for a mini.  He also likes to bite people so some ground work is in order to build respect.

But he is an athletic little guy.  He is show ring rather than dressage trained, so we are working to have him become more responsive to half halts.   I’m looking forward to working with him more.   Macho is doing really well so he is going to get out and start getting into driving condition again, too.  It is a big challenge to go from a well-trained schoolmaster type driving horse like Macho to a greener, younger horse.   There’s also a bond with the old horse that needs time to form with a new horse.

Katie Advises Against Weighty Thoughts

3 Jan

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.

Dear Katie,  I am a 29 inch tall miniature horse.  My New Year’s resolution is to lose 50 lbs.  I already eat a high fiber vegetarian diet.  What else can I do?  Signed, Heavy Thoughts

Dear Heavy, the first question you need to ask is why you want to lose weight.  If you can’t come up with a good reason, keep eating.  It also might be all hair.  Wait until you shed out in Spring and see if you look smaller.  Good luck!  – Katie