With temperatures in Crescent City Proper heading for 61° these days, with 100% humidity, it’ll be warmer here. I live in a rural area of Crescent City, just outside of the fog belt. I got fog this morning, but generally, it lingers high in the firs, spruce and redwoods.
This morning, the farrier‘s coming to tune up my horses hooves. I keep up their hooves myself half the time and clean them almost every day. They’re reasonably cooperative and I’m respectful, patiently asking them to shift their balance so I can move along.
I’m giving the horses their yearly baths this weekend. I’ll check their dirt covered skin, checking for anything odd or sore, bites, cuts. Dirt protects them from insects and helps keep them warm. Mostly, I let them be horses. Bath-time isn’t fun for any of us; it’s a big chore, physically demanding, and without cooperation, it’s less fun than cleaning up manure. The latter doesn’t complain, kick, twist, or bite.
They’re beginning to shed out their short summer coats, in preparation for the thick, downy undercoat. Last year, their first winter here, I didn’t have to put man-made coats on them. All this means is that their own coats did the job.
The soil here gets slippery, deep, muddy during the rainy season. They’re becoming mud savvy, especially Starlight, since she slipped and twisted a leg, she’s more careful. I’ve seen them slide right down to the ground, then – in an instant – they’re right back up again. I wait like an expectant mother to see if they’re moving correctly. Seeing a horse go down in a split second – horrifying.
Mark made a small area for them – covered, raised floor, with comfortable mats for them to lie or stand on. They have a place to go when it rains like hell and they do take advantage of it; perhaps it’s their choice and that’s the key.
My older mare, Brandy, has developed diarrhea, and I’m working to figure out what I can do to help her. She’s been more shy toward me than usual, and I think she’s feeling a bit vulnerable. I’ve picked pineapple weed for her, and she eats it readily. I wonder about the weeds and herbs that might benefit their health, or contain a necessary part of their diet, and as domesticated animals, they’ve been denied. On the other hand, there are hazards, such as the pretty, yellow buttercup flower. One fresh flower is deadly.
Some folks say that horses don’t see color. I believe that some do and some better than others! Horses have two cones in their eyes, we have three. Scientists have studied this for years. I know from my own observations that my horses see yellow hues and some greens. I could say with certainty that they don’t see red. Blue? Not sure.
It’s time to get going – things are hopping and jumping around here today!
- Donkey Hooves Inside and Out, Pete Ramey – A Must Have For All Donkey and Mule Owners (donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com)
- Being a Champion for Your Horse (harmonioushorsemanship.wordpress.com)
- Donkey Hooves (donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com)