It’s that time of year when people like to ponder the good things that have come their way. I see the trend of daily status updates on Facebook, where everyone is counting a blessing along with each day of November, and while it is inspiring to read their grateful comments, I haven’t joined in the fad yet. I have looked at the blank where I’m supposed to type my comment, and ten minutes later I’m still sitting there, overwhelmed with my thoughts….the blank just isn’t big enough. I have so much to be thankful for.
One of the things every horse owner should consider is the fact that horses don’t live forever, nor do they stay rideable forever. It might seem overly simple to state it in that fashion, but we really don’t like to think about horses getting old, getting hurt, or dying. Our imaginations enable us to envision the Black Stallion living in endless glory…and even though we understand the old gray mare “ain’t what she used to be”, we like to pretend that she is still quite comfortable and able. The truth is far uglier at times, and a responsible horse owner will understand and plan ahead of time. What should you do when your horse is too old to be useful? What are the options for owners of aged equines?
A horse buddy of mine asked the question on Facebook the other day, “What do you do about barn hands?” She wasn’t referring to people you hire to help out around a stable, but rather the calloused and dried out things on the ends of your arms. All of the horse people chimed in with their remedies for this problem, and it was easy to see that if you have horses in your life, your hands will tell the story. Mine are cracked, calloused, dry, and sometimes even dirty….it just comes with the territory of being around horses.
You might be surprised at how often I question my own common sense when it comes to owning horses. We have five now, and that puts both me and Cowboy Dad in a sort of panic to justify the expense and trouble that we go to in order to keep them. I think many of my readers believe that I live on a massive expanse of Western range, complete with howling coyotes and grazing cattle, where I train horses all day, bake my family a luscious dinner in my country kitchen, and ride off into the sunset with the love of my life. Well, I hate to ruin that impression, but to tell it a little more accurately….
I am happy to announce a new giveaway here on CowgirlDiary.com! This is a brand new horse book, just released yesterday, November 1, 2011. I got the chance to read it beforehand, and was pleasantly surprised by it. An avid reader of horse-related literature, I expected a rather indulgent account of far-fetched fluff. What I found instead, is that the author lets you into her world and honestly portrays the true realities of horse ownership. I found my own horse experiences mirrored in the thoughts and feelings of the writer, and by the time the last page was turned, I felt that I knew her so well I had found a kindred spirit.