Archive | May, 2013

Katie Explains How to Escape Boredom

28 May


Katie Understands the Unique Challenges of Being a Miniature Horse or Pony.

Dear Katie, I am 12 hand tall Welsh pony.  Being tied to a trailer all day at show is boring.  What can I do to make it more fun?  Signed, Feeling Tied Down

Dear Tied Down, there is no need to feel that way.  You are tied with a quick release safety knot.  This type of knot is very quick for a pony to release.  Just pull the end of the rope with your teeth and you will no longer be tied down!  You can go wherever you want.   – Katie


Starlings Going for a Ride

28 May



27 May


Our beautiful quarter horse Mister, whom we lost to colic last July.

Katie Knows That What Comes Around, Goes Around

24 May


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

Dear Katie,  I am a 10 hand tall summer camp pony.  I am very bored with trotting around in circles with tots on my back.  What can I do?- signed, Been Around the Block

Dear Been, Do you jump?  You can always go over the fence instead of trotting around in a circle.  This is guaranteed to get you a new job.  If you don’t jump, there’s always stop, drop and roll.  Good luck! – Katie

Horse Drama

23 May


The vast majority of the horse world is occupied by drama.  Often you don’t just buy  a horse, you buy a horse drama.  And it’s hard to not buy one.  It comes free with the horse whether you want it or not.  Sort of like an extended warranty.

When you go to buy a horse, the trouble begins.  If the horse is so great, why are they selling him/her?   Common answers include:  “no time” (to get bucked off),  “need to downsize” (got bucked off), “horse too small”  (bucked kids off), “injury prevents riding” (got bucked off and broke shoulder), “too many horses” (this one bucks so I’m selling it and keeping the others) “daughter lost interest” (because horse bucked her off).

If you do like the horse, suddenly the price goes up.  Or a million other strange things happen that make being abducted by aliens seem ordinary in comparison.  If you enjoy shopping too much, try to buy a horse.  Soon you will never want to shop again.  Even for groceries.  So you should stock your pantry well before attempting this exercise, so you don’t starve.

After I bought the raffle ticket for $1 to win a draft horse at the fair, I broke out in a cold sweat.  What if I won?  What would I DO with the draft horse?  Where would I put a draft horse?  Thankfully I did not win a draft horse.

Unlike Katie herself,  Katie’s purchase was without drama.  And she is small, so unlike a draft horse, I have a place to keep her.  She was one of the simplest horse purchases I ever made.  She is a zen horse- she keeps me honest.  And humble, by humiliating me at shows.  So I never get too full of myself.  She keeps me in “beginner mind”– the place where magic happens, and I am grateful for that.  It is much better than drama land.

It’s Show Time

19 May


Katie got all cleaned up for today’s show.  It was her first time going to one since last summer.  Needless to say, she was a bit hyper.  The in-hand trail course was more advanced than usual, since people had complained it was too easy last year.

Katie could do it all at home.  But at the show, she felt obligated to snort, toss her head and prance.  Because it was the kind of show where you accrue points, all exhibitors had to wear a hat.  Yes, there is logic to that.  It is called proper Western or English attire.  Which must be worn even if you are just taking your mini in trail class.

Not having shown seriously in many years, I just set a hat on my head.  This is a major mistake.

We were flying through the trot pole formation when my hat began shifting.  My hat acheived lift off, and Katie simultaneously did as well.  I remembered then that I was supposed to pin the hat to my hair with bobby pins.

Too late.  Katie jumped the ground pole for a major point deduction and her level of pranciness revved up two notches now that a dangerous  and life-threatening hat was somewhere behind her on the trail course.

As distance from the hat increased, her performance got better and we finished the rest of it well- pivoting 90 degrees,  sidepassing down a log, crossing a bridge and trotting cones and heading in a straight line for the exit markers.

We finished third in a large class.  Katie’s more well-behaved pasturemate, Gypsy, placed second.  It was a good finish, and next time I will wear a helmet with a chin strap instead of a hat!

Katie Knows That Taking a Vacation is Good for Your Health

18 May


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

Dear Katie, I am a 14 hand tall quarter pony.  I am frustrated by my lack of vacation time.  I put in lots of work, but I never get to go anywhere fun.  What can I do?  Signed, All Work and No Play

Dear All Work, you must take your own vacation.  There is a whole world out there right outside your fence.   All you have to do is escape and go wherever you want!  That’s what I do.  – Katie


Miniature Horse Picture of the Day

9 May


Katie Understands That Frugal Living Can Have its Drawbacks

8 May


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

Dear Katie,  I am a 14 hand Welsh pony. How important is it to save for retirement?  My miniature horse pasturemate eats everything I try to save.  Signed, Frugal Eater

Dear Frugal, you should just eat all the food as fast as you can.  Try to eat faster than the miniature horse.  This will be hard to do, so practice every day.

Horse Family

2 May


Do horses remember each other?  Since horses are useful animals, we end up buying/selling/moving them around a lot.  They are adaptable.  But at their heart, they are herd animals, much as we are, and remember their family and friends and suffer from separation.  I don’t believe this is just anthropomorphism.

After Katie returned home after six months, her former pasturemate (of three years) was so glad to see her, they immediately began scratching each other’s withers with their teeth.  OK, that horse language for “I love you.”

They kept grooming for hours over the next few months.  It slowly decreased as they realized neither was going anywhere.  But if you spend time in a herd of horses, you realize that left to their own devices, horses would form family groups and stay with them.  And perhaps they suffer more than we know by leaving their herdmates.