In which we strategically choose to hunker down for a couple weeks

"Where is the best place to be during a bar fight?"

L-to-R: Patricia, Linda, Carol, and me: 
in a class that trained about 20 black belts, we were the only women

I used to participate in conversations like that all the time.  

As the youngest adult and one of the smallest people (many of the juniors were bigger than me), strategy was my best tool in karate class.  Bigger students could muscle through in a sparring match, but that wasn't really an option for me.  I needed to use my brain at least as often as my fists.

The answer to the question about the best spot in a bar fight: "Drinking tea with a friend on the other side of town."

I think about that now, when horse owners throughout the Pacific Northwest are trying to figure out the best way to cope with the frightening outbreak of EHV-1, a common herpes virus in horses that has the ability to mutate from a minor respiratory bug into a deadly "neuro" version.   

The outbreak is, at present, confined to one barn in Woodinville about 40 miles from Haiku Farm.  That's the good news.  

The bad news is that the disease has been confirmed in nine horses--and seven of these have been euthanized.

It's important to note that confirmation of the neuropathogenic strain of the disease is not necessarily a death sentence:  many horses do recover.  There is a vaccine that helps with the "normal" form of the disease (it's part of the "rhino" shot given as part of the annual routine), but the vaccine doesn't touch the neuro version.  

So, what can we do to keep our horses safe?

Remember that bar fight?  It's the same idea.  

The best spot for a horse during a disease outbreak is on the other side of the county.  

Posted on the Facebook page of Fish Creek Farm

(Drinking tea is optional for the horses, highly recommended for riders.)

For Fiddle, quarantine means staying home.  No trips to Fish Creek for lessons (she's not allowed in anyhow while they are closed).  Veterinarians also recommend avoiding trail heads because, although transmission of the bug is usually horse-to-horse, it can also be passed along via stuff, including hitching posts, water tanks, and even particles of manure on the ground.

There are horses in the neighbor's pasture adjacent Fiddle's, so I texted back and forth with the owner.  We agreed that hunkering in place is everybody's best bet.

So here we are.  

The weather is awful anyhow.  The trails will be muddy, and the sky is throwing all kinds of gross precipitation down.  So...meh.  I'm usually the one who argues against boredom, but this time...

We'll just stay home.

Happy "Gotcha Day" to Fiddle and me.  This photo was taken December 29, 2006.

UPDATE: It's clear skies and sunny this morning!  Aghhh.  Would love to ride.  But...sigh....Is it unfair to wish for lousy weather?  

"Y U no ridez?!?!"



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