- During my internet absence, the girls had fall break. While other families went on mini vacations and relaxed, we stayed here and worked at the barn. Horses don’t take fall “breaks,” y’all. In fact, I’m generally busier during school breaks because some of my boarders go home and I take care of extra horses. Partial boarders have the option to pay me what we call “day care,” so they can leave town. Some boarders ask friends to come out and care for their horses while they’re away, but I prefer to do the work myself so I know they’re getting proper care. That’s another story, for another day, though. Our little family did manage to get away one morning to drive down to Oklahoma City for Pumpkinville in the Myriad Gardens. They had over 16,000 pumpkins. HELLO. That’s a lot of pumpkins. The girls had a great time exploring their children’s’ garden, getting their faces painted, and riding the train. This might have to be a new tradition for us!
- For it being the end of October, we’ve had very warm weather and heavy thunderstorms each week. I’m so tired of the mud. This past storm over the weekend finally brought cooler weather! It was 48 degrees last night, but it should warm back up into the 70s during the day. As I looked at the weather for the upcoming weekend, I saw that the lows would dip down into the 30s. This weather transition always poses the same end-all-be-all horsey question: When do I start blanketing my horses? That’s an easy question for me to answer personally, because I utilize a minimal blanketing strategy with my horses. I want them to grow hair! But with 13 full care horses and 13 different individual owners, I have to make a blanketing strategy! Otherwise I’m rushing around all day adding blankets or pulling them depending on the horse. It’s not easy being a one-woman show! After years of analysis, I’ve grouped horse owners into five main blanketing categories:
- The extreme horse show freak-Starts blanketing in August, keeps lights on their horse full time, frets when they see a single puffy hair, end goal is to have ZERO hair. Bald, cold, dependent horses are the cool thing at AQHA shows, guys.
- The practical frequent rider – Blankets to keep hair growth at a minimum to reduce sweat while riding, loves to body clip. Wears breeches and boat shoes to the barn.
- Cold-natured human – I’m cold, so my horse MUST be cold. Right? I’m wearing a hoodie, so my horse MUST need a hoodie. Right?
- Low maintenance horse owner – Only blankets during extreme cold, wind, rain, or snow. Could care less if horse is hairy. Name is Allie.
- Natural horsemanship level 10 master – Absolutely under no circumstances will blanket. Horses are made to withstand the elements and refuses to inhibit their horse’s natural ability to protect themselves from cold weather. Also does not administer bute, and uses garlic for flies.
There are other horse owners mixed in-between those lines, of course. I forgot about the owner who doesn’t blanket for months and then decides in January they want to show, so she starts maniacally blanketing as if she can turn back time. I’ve seen it all, folks. I think we can agree to disagree on the blanketing topic, right? So where do you fit in? Have you already thrown a blanket on your horse? Which category do you fall in?