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Showing posts from April, 2018

In which we do the storytelling thing...with wings. And also: Becky.

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Becky emailed me a couple of weeks ago: "There's going to be a fairy festival, and they are looking for a storyteller."


Jim and I headed down to St Helens, Oregon on Friday afternoon--through ungodly traffic in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, over the Longview bridge to the peaceful two-lane highway running along the western bit of the Columbia River...to Becky's house!




The Festival of the Fairies  is a brand new event.  Ideally, the grounds would be thick with the fluttering of wings and the excited shouts of tiny fairies and their parents scampering around and enjoying the activities and artwork.



In reality, the weather (grey, wet, and dismal) ensured lots of room for takeoffs and landings.


For storytelling, though, small crowds are ideal.


A small group allows the teller (or tellers--Jim and I did several tandem stories, but of course, nobody was available to take pictures of that!)


 to select a story especially for the listeners

without having to rely on a set list as w…

In which I post the list of the books about riding long distances

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Recently, I compiled a list of books--there are so many new titles!--for Endurance News magazine, the publication of the American Endurance Rides Conference. It's in the April 2018 issue, if you want to hunt for it. If you don't, you've come to the right place.
IMPORTANT:I don't recommend every book on this list!
As I explained in an earlier post, not all books are suitable for all readers, and some books were obviously written by the Bad Idea Fairy.
My personal favorites are marked with an *, but use your CRAAP Criteria (it's really called that) to evaluate what you read.

Most of the links lead to Amazon.com, a few go to private websites. You can also ask your local library to order books for you.


Books for Beginners and Green Beans * America's Long Distance Challenge II : New Century, New Trails, and More Miles by Karen Bumgarner. (2013)  Being a successful endurance competitor is more complex that simply running your horse as hard as possible.  Proper ca…

In which we're still trudging and there are needles everywhere

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I haven't been writing because...well, because nothing interesting is happening.  That's not a bad thing.  


Exactly 4 weeks ago, Fiddle took a gorky step and strained/sprained her LH superficial flexor tendon.
We have been carefully following the vet's instructions since that time:  mostly stall rest + small grazing paddock, and hand-walks 2xdaily.  


We are now up to 15 minutes of "trudging" around the yard twice daily.  Fee likes the part where she can grab fresh green grass as we walk.  
I like the part where...no, actually.  I don't enjoy it.  It isn't the most unpleasant part of my day, but I will be happy when she is able to exercise herself again!
To possibly hasten that day, we have help from Patty.

Patty is currently taking a course to become certified in veterinary acupuncture.  It's a bucket ton of classroom time, study at home, and hands-on practice putting needles in animals who need help.


Animals like...the Dragon!



During the first session…

In which I revisit the issue of keeping a big dark horse cool

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The best way to keep a hard-working endurance horse cool during a strenuous event is to begin with a small, narrow, grey horse. Preferably an Arab.



Fiddle is big:  16 hands, 1200 pounds.  She has a big engine,


and her engine runs hot.

During an endurance ride, cooling is a major issue for all horses.  Here's a quote from an article by Dr. Susan Garlinghouse, DVM:

During a fifty-mile ride in ambient temperatures, the average horse will produce enough heat to melt a 150-pound block of ice, and then bring that water to a boil. If that heat is not removed, the internal body temperature will quickly rise high enough to literally cook the entire body.


Please note that the numbers cited above are for an average horse.  Not a 1200 pound Dragon, who naturally produces even more heat.

And not a Moose, either.


Moose and his rider ran into metabolic trouble at the April Daze ride, which sent me scurrying to my blog archives to find the post I wrote about cooling a big dark horse.  Turns out that…

In which we go to the "Dry Side" to help out a bit at April Daze

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When Fiddle strained a tendon two weeks ago I automatically erased the April Daze ride from her schedule


...but not from mine.
Gail Williams could probably run a ride just fine without help from me and Jim...but she hasn't had to do that for 15 years, so why take a chance? 
We loaded up the van with sleeping bags and dogs and headed over the pass to what we normally call the "Dry Side" of our state.  During the long drive, I amuse myself by taking photos of the dogs.







We had clear skies and dry roads coming through the pass on Friday, but the weather forecast was ominous for the Spokane area on Saturday:  100% chance of heavy rain and winds.

And guess who forgot to pack the barn boots before we left home?




Friday evening, the skies at Riverside Park were friendly and blue.



Saturday morning, not so much.


It started out raining, and then the weather really got the hang of precipitating.