Archive for September, 2007

Through Ellie’s Eyes

Thursday, September 20th, 2007


Ellie is my 9 year old Arabian mare.  Arabians often enjoy a reputation for being flighty, spooky, unstable, unpredictable over-reactors.  Ellie can be all of these things.  However, she also shares the other reputation that Arabians have — for being kind, sweet, smart, brave, hard working, dedicated, strong, fast, loyal and kind spirited companions.

I went out to ride her today.  I was actually going to ride Cricket – that was my plan.  But when I got to the barn, as soon as I parked my car and opened the door, Ellie was at the gate, whinnying her welcome to me.  She totally warmed my heart, and I decided I’d ride her today instead (although I’m not sure that was the outcome she was hoping for).  I went to get her, and brought her up to the barn to groom her.  They’re building a couple of new stalls out at the barn, so there was a good deal of commotion  — nail guns, circular saws, trucks driving around — in addition to the normal commotion of an active barn — horses and riders going about their regular activities.

I can never be quite sure which Ellie I’m going to get at a given time.  I was prepared for the flighty one — I get nervous around nail guns and circular saws — but I was pleasantly surprised.  She was quiet and relaxed while I groomed her and tacked her up, even as an air compressor came on loudly not far away.  I brought her to the arena and she stood with me while I took care of the gates and arranged some poles on the ground.  Then I mounted up and started the ride.  Mostly, she was very well behaved, but she was very nervous about one side of the arena.  On the other side of the fence, there were some poles and jump standards arranged.  They have been there for some time, but they’ve been rearranged since the last time I rode her in the arena.  So this was scary.  Saws, nail guns, moving vehicles – those are fine, but don’t make a pile of lumber!  Certainly, I can think of some good evolutionary reasons for horses to be wary of a pile of wood that had changed since their last pass through the area (something could be hiding in or behind it, for example) but it really made me realize something about horses and people and our reaction to perceived threats.


Howrse: an unexpected obsession

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Howrse?  Yes, Howrse.  No, it’s not spelled wrong.  It’s an online horse game that I have come to be quite obsessed about.

Here’s how it happened . . . I actually followed a link from this very page — it was an ad that Google put on our blog.  I thought the name was odd, so I decided to see what it was all about.