What an incredible island. And incredible mangoes. We’ll never forget swimming with the horses, sitting on their bare backs in our bathing suits, their bodies submerged — and ours half-submerged — under the warm, clear turquoise water. Thank you Eliza & Henry & Nikki & Blue & Dakota.
Retailers in the UK and Ireland initially recalled approximately 10 million pounds of hamburger after three beef processors were discovered distributing hamburger patties containing both pig and horse DNA.
It was DNA testing as part of a quality assurance test that originally revealed the presence of horsemeat in beef products in mid-January. As of today, nothing definitive has been proven regarding the scandal, but all of Europe’s health ministers are gathering in Brussels to talk about what should be done. As many as 16 EU countries have revealed that beef sold in those countries contains horsemeat.
There is no government-based DNA testing of meat here in the US (although the technology is available here and in use by private companies selling Black Angus beef). And while it’s unlikely that any of our own beef contains horse, since there are currently no slaughter plants in the US, one has to wonder about the past.
As horsemen, we’ve likely all given our horses bute, at one time or another. Many of us have administered it more times than we can count. That’s been the big lie within the bigger lie of “100% beef,” certainly abroad and likely here in the US as well.
Time for another happy dance!
Have you ever gotten to the barn after work, in a bad mood, having eaten nothing since lunch, then rushed to get on your horse and had a bad ride?
Have you ever known that you’re hungry or thirsty or both and decided that there was no time to eat or drink anything, so you got on your horse and had a bad ride?
Have you ever gotten up way before the crack of dawn to get to a horse show and decided you could do without eating and had a bad ride?
Now, of course, it’s always possible to have a bad ride, and you can’t blame everything on what you ate (or didn’t eat). But riding on empty can turn a good ride into a bad ride, and a bad ride into a worse ride.
Your body just doesn’t work as well when you’re hungry or dehydrated (even slightly). Mentally, you can become slow or foggy. Emotionally, it can be difficult to keep things in perspective. And spiritually…well, it worked for Mahatma Gandhi, but chances are that starvation won’t work for you when you put on your jodhpurs.
Eat, drink and be merry. It works for holiday parties and it works for riders in the saddle, all year long.
I know it works for me. I eat often. Not a lot but a lot of times a day (at least four). I like to graze so much, I might be a reincarnated herbivore, a horse perhaps (those who live in the land of jodhpurs understand, I’m sure).
Nominations are now open for the ESMAs — the Equestrian Social Media Awards, now in their third splendid year.
My mother would have called this shameless, but I’m going to ask anyway: would you nominate me?
If you enjoy hearing my raves and rants…what inspires me and what I think might inspire you…training tips…periodic suggestions on how you can spend even more money on your horse habit, and if you enjoy the visual feast I try to put on your plate to accompany all the words, please take a moment to nominate reflectionsonriding.com as Best Blog (#17).
The ESMAs ask that you say a few words when you do. My advice is: don’t hold back (something that’s also good to remember when you’re in the saddle). Only those nominees with unique “supporting statements” will go through to the second round of judging. Winners will be selected from among the finalists through public voting on the ESMA site (25%) and by a panel of experts (75%).
That’s what my horse Big Bird does for me. He carries me on his own very large and powerful wings. He reminds me every day, as every horse does, that the weather may change, but we have today to be grateful for. Another day is another chance to be our best, and to be happy.
And to give thanks.
It’s almost Thanksgiving, so I’m starting now, giving thanks to all the horses in my life, my wonderful students who give me such joy, and all the people who keep me aloft.
The song takes on a whole new meaning when it’s sung by a woman doesn’t it? For those who love the Waylan and Willie version, here goes:
I began writing the series “How to buy a horse” back in May. My, how time flies when the horse flies are out. For those just joining us, you can hop in here, and read Parts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI later.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of horse shopping, a video is worth several thousand words. And an even greater number of dollars.
When I’m shopping for a horse for a client (or for myself) I like to see both, because there are different things to see in each.
In photos, I like a classic conformation shot. And for a hunter, a jumper or an eventer, I want to see how a horse uses his legs (especially his front legs) over fences. Those are the basics but I’ll look at a dozen photos if a seller has them and sends them, because it’s amazing what you can see in one photo that you might miss in another.
Videos can confirm what you suspect after you’ve seen the stills. Or they can surprise you.