Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chasing Tails

"Who, me?"
Some of you may remember my sad story of the tail-eating ram.

To re-cap, last year, I noted that all my mares' tails had been chewed, and eventually I realized the culprit was Webbly, the love-sick ram who prefers the company of mares to his own kind.  (Here's the story: Link)

Well, we eventually finished the sheep fencing and were able to relegate the mad tail-nosher to his own side of the fence.  He was bereft, but the mares couldn't care less.

The tools.
Since then, by the way, some disparaging comments were directed at my mares' threadbare tails.  

Well, even though their luxurious locks have not yet finished growing back, circumstances have brought us right back to a situation that is imminently tail-threatening.  I have had to temporarily separate the two rams, Webbly and this year's ram lamb, from the ewes.  Webbly can't hang with his daughters as they hit maturity, and the ram lamb can't hang with any ewes, because I have observed that there is nothing hornier than a ram lamb at about five months old, and not even his own mother would be safe.

There's nothing sexier than good lingerie.
The only place to keep the rams (until we install yet more sheep fencing) is with the mares, who placidly ignore the rams' attention, even when Webbly jumps straight up in the air as high as their heads.

But, I must protect the tails.
I have not found anyplace locally to buy tail bags, at least, none that I can get to with my insane schedule of late.  But I happened to be in a shoe store at lunch and spotted the thigh-high stockings on sale.

Can you see the light bulb above my head?

So, three white thigh-highs and a dosing of bitter-tasting spray later, and I have my latest scheme to keep that hair-nibbling ovine off those tails!   I'll let you know how it works out.

Oh, and anybody looking for some lovely sheep?  I happen to be selling two ewe lambs and a ram lamb.  Your purchase of these beautiful sheep will help protect my horses' tails!

OK, OK, can't blame a gal for trying....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Day at the Derby

Cool slow-mo of the winner.
I decided to take my own advice and trekked up to Mumsford, NY yesterday with a friend to watch the Saturday competition of the Derby at the Genesee County Museum.

The Museum represents a 19th century village, and until yesterday, I didn't know this lovely attraction existed in our area.

The Derby was located in the village's Great Meadow and it was a lovely venue with gorgeous jumps for beautifully turned out hunters on a perfect sunny day.   With plenty of seating on a grassy hill and the sun to our backs, we really couldn't have picked a prettier place to spend a day.

Saturday's event was the $5000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, won by Jen Alfano on the dapple gray Me Again.

Sunday's event is the $35,000 International Hunter Derby and it's another beautiful day for a competition.

This was the first time the Derby was held at this location, and I'm betting it will become a popular annual event.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This Weekend's Pick, June 6-8, 2014

You just HAVE to go to the Derby this weekend, dahlings.  I have not figured out exactly what this is, but I know I want to see it!

If this is not your sort of event, check out the many other options on the Big Calendar, to the right on this page.  There are a couple of fun obstacle clinics, a reined cow horse show and lots more.

Whatever you do, have fun with your pony!
USHJA Hunter Derby at Genesee Country Museum

WhenJune 6-8, 2014
Where:  Mumford, NY, United States (map)
Description:   USHJA Derby at Genesee Country Museum
From their website:
For lovers of horses, history, philanthropy and fun: Welcome to the inaugural charity Hunter Derby at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. 
You are invited to join us for a day of unforgettable excitement, exceptional elegance and wonderful food as we watch the highest caliber of equine athletes and their riders compete for $35,000 over a challenging vintage hunt course. Staged in the Great Meadow at the Genesee Country Village & Museum in the gorgeous Finger Lakes region of Western NY on June 7th and 8th, 2014, this first annual hunter derby brings you the grace and charm of a by-gone era while you surround yourself with friends, food, shopping and thrilling entertainment. 
Your attendance and support benefits the Genesee Country Village & Museum and the Rochester Women’s Giving Circle. It also keeps our region’s long and proud equine traditions fresh and alive for future generations to enjoy. 


Friday, June 6th

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Competition arena open to flat (weather permitting)
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Charity Warm-up (weather permitting) National Derby Competitors only

Saturday, June 7th

7:00 am – 8:00 am Competition arena open to flat (weather permitting)
9:00 am – 10:00 am Charity Warm-up (weather permitting) International Derby Competitors only
11:00 am $5,000 National Derby – Course Walk
12:00 pm $5,000 National Derby – First Horse on Course
6:00 pm International Riders VIP Reception (by invitation only)

Sunday, June 8th

9:00 am Gates Open
9:30 am $35,000 International Derby – Course Walk
Bar Open
10:00 am Educational Course Walk
10:30 am Brunch Buffet
11:00 am Calcutta
12:00 pm $35,000 International Derby – First Horse on Course
4:00 pm $35,000 International Derby – Awards Ceremony
All Times are Approximate

Monday, June 2, 2014

Muscle Work

Hudson and Starlight were treated to a sports massage this past weekend, courtesy of Kerry Miller of Second Star Equine Massage Therapy.  My husband had surprised me with gift certificates for the massages at Christmas, but I decided to wait until it was bit warmer out to try out Kerry's work.
Kerry does the hard part while I stand by, drinking coffee.

Hudson definitely responded to the massage, being very clear on what she liked and what she didn't.  Hudson has demonstrated a variety of body soreness issues, so it was not surprising to see my big girl having big reactions.  By the time Kerry got to the back end of the first side, Hudson was starting to get it, stretching her neck out with a quizzical look, as though she were thinking, "Oh! That might feel good if I could just relax!"

It ain't easy to get that big neck to bend!
Starlight was more subdued in her responses and a more cooperative about the body work.

Although I have one more massage certificate, I didn't have Kerry work on DeCato, since the little red mare is almost never asked to do any work whatsoever.  But I was a little sorry about my decision when I saw DeCato waiting expectantly at the gate for her turn, and then her regretful look that seemed to say "Hey! What about me?" as Kerry left.

I can see where massage could be an appreciated part of a horses' routine.  Come to think of it, I would like it to be part of mine, as well!