This is my least favorite week of the year, because where I live, the Fourth of July is cause to celebrate for at least a week.
That means lots of BOOM! Not only fireworks — official (on at least two days of the week) and unofficial (whenever the neighbors feel like it). Along with target practice at unusual hours. Gunfire can be heard as late as 11:30 pm. Target practice round these parts is usually limited to the weekends, but not on the week of the Fourth of July…when it’s party, party, party.
A young bear chose this week to make an appearance on the property, knocking over the trash cans and lumbering hither, thither and yon. My retired Thoroughbred thinks that a bear means the end of life as we know it. The other horses just raise their heads and look alarmed, try to comfort him and fail.
Several days ago, two Herefords and one Black Angus cross appeared at the fence of the sacrifice paddock, took a tour of the pastures and settled in to eat the Grand Prix field. It took us a day to find the owner and the owner took another day to find the cows, who had then moved on.
This week, we also got a present of a new, mutant bug. Of course, it bites. It’s one I’ve never seen before. Has anyone else in the Northeast seen what looks like a huge (over 1″ long) fly? What ARE they?
And why do the bugs and the bears and the BOOM! and the stray cows have to converge this week, along with the rogue thunderstorms and temperatures in the 90s?
Maybe, if at least some of it goes away, I will be happy, next week, that it all came at once. At least I won’t have to wait till the cows come home.
Reflections on Riding said:
I don’t enjoy the fireworks either….tho it’s my dogs that are bothered more than my mares. As for your mutant flying creature, I don’t know what it’s official name is, but here in northern Illinois, we call them B-52’s. Big, BIG bugs, the body is maybe 1″ to 1 1/2″ long, wingspan probably 2-3″. And the horses HATE them. I watched the barn owner’s Paint gelding turn into a rodeo bronc one day (she wasn’t on him, thank God) when one landed on his rump. It’s probably a B-52 that prompted my App mare’s recent bucking episode near the end of a recent trail ride (tho it was nothing like the Paint ) If you are brave enough to hit them (the reason I usually wear gloves), they are killed easily…..then remember apologize to your mount for whacking him/her!
Hmmm….I obviously plugged in the wrong information on the lines. That was not Katie, that was me…..
Hi Carol — Thanks. It’s funny that you mention being brave enough to hit them. The other day, I was in the stall with my young horse when he swung around and I thought he was trying to run his shoulder into me. I said, “Hey! What are you doing?” At which point, his shoulder, with the B-52 on it, was directly in front of my nose (he’s tall). I got it. I hit it. It was slow and fell to the ground.
My Yankee-Irish horsewhispering boyfriend is busy desensitizing the horses to the fly swatter.
Fly swatter, eh? I’ve never tried that, but I do generally trail ride with a horsehair fly-swishie. The App is fine with it, the QH mare is sometimes a bit suspicious of it, so I’m thinking a fly swatter may send her into fits! Desensitization is a difficult process with her….one day she’s fine, the next she’s overreacting. Depends on her hormones and mood, I guess!
The nice thing about the fly swatter is that you get to kill the flies that you might not be able to get with your hands. So far, we’ve successfully desensitized every horse here to the fly swatter and they understand what we’re doing with it.
But I understand just how your mare feels! It sounds like you really understand her, too and it’s great that you give her the room she needs to work through things, while you keep focused on your goal.