Jul 01 2011

Friday favorite horse blogging

My pal

Unlike with children, you’re allowed to have a favorite horse. This is Izzy, a thoroughbred/warmblood cross. She has anhidrosis, a big-ass osteochondritis dissecans lesion in her stifle, a mysterious skin condition affecting her udder, long pasterns, underrun heels, her tail won’t grow, and her top speed is “whoa,” but I love her. You can tell just by looking at a horse’s eye if she’s a stinker or a sweetie-pie. Izzy’s a sweetie-pie.


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  1. Laughingrat

    Jill, are you becoming one of those ladies who take in “broken” horses and give them a decent home they wouldn’t otherwise have? Because that’s pretty cool.

  2. Val

    Whoo hoo – am I really FIRST?!?

    But I too, have a favorite: the Quig-monster… He’s retired now w/assorted health problems of his own but will probably have to feed him for another 10 yrs or more. He gave me enough good miles on the trail; he has earned it.

    Who can explain Motherly Love?

  3. FoxTarantella

    She is stunning. I have always been an avid horse person so this is yay :)

  4. Boner Killer

    what a beautiful creature!

  5. angie

    Wait, you’re not allowed to have a favorite child? My mom will be devastated.

  6. Jill

    @Laughingrat: Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not one of those in-the-trenches horse-rescuers, in that I don’t go to auctions and buy broken-down ex-racehorses for $50 to keep them from going to the kill buyer and all that sort of thing.

    I do, however, keep my own doofy, useless riding horses out of the kill pen.

    It is one of the dirty secrets of the horse industry that when horses go lame or have some problem behavior issue, or have outlived their usefulness (i.e. geriatric broodmares, or Susie discovers boys and no longer has time for Dobbin, or their hunter has an OCD in her stifle), lots of dickhead owners just send’em to auction, after which they end up on a double-decker cattle truck headed for a Mexican slaughterhouse. This is particularly true of ex-race horses, but unscrupulous asshole owners are not limited to the racing industry.

    Horribly, it turns out that somebody or something messed up nearly every one of my horses somewhere back in the day. So I end up feeling sorry for’em and giving’em the life of Riley. Like, I’ve got a sweet little Arabian mare, an ex-Western pleasure horse they used to haul around on the Arab breed show circuit. I bought her for trail riding around the farm, but her old (dude) trainer was too mean to her, and she hates being ridden so much that I can’t bear to put her through the trauma, so she is retired in my front yard.

    And Izzy I bought for the hunter ring, but even though she’s the type to power through the pain, with that flippin’ stifle lesion it looks like she might be getting an early retirement, too.

    My girls and I are lucky that I can afford to retire’em here at home. It is almost a foregone conclusion that if Izzy had been bought by a typical competitive hunter/jumper kid instead of some bleeding heart spinster aunt like me, her future would not look too rosy.

  7. buttercup

    Ok, the new header just broke me. I needed that laugh, thanks Jill.

  8. Killerchick

    “Meaty Buddha”! *Meaty*! I love it.

    It goes without saying that that’s a beautiful, heart-warming equine too.

  9. Blind Horse

    You give great header.

    Izzy should have a chat with my blind mare. She’s been on the feedroll since 2002, and at 9 years young, I am counting on her bossing the others around my backyard for at least 20 more. I am also possessed by several Shitland ponies, ostensibly bought by this spinster aunt for her nieces and nephews, whose ungrateful selves never come ride. But they’re cute, so I keep them too.

    And so it goes.

  10. Sarah

    I love your barn. Particularly I like the window, and the horseshoe painted to match the white bricks.

  11. Z

    Wow! You really do have a farm!!! I have always wanted a leisure farm for animals — horses, mules, donkeys, chickens, cows, goats, llamas and now, panda bears. I am a toddler at heart, as this indicates. I am so impressed with your farm!

  12. Jill

    “I am so impressed with your farm!”

    Don’t be! My “farm” is a few dusty acres with a loafing shed, a couple of horses, and a garden that the drought killed. And an irascible handy-man, and a manure pile the size of Guam.

    The barn in the photo is actually Izzy’s summer residence, a boarding barn about 30 miles from here, where she lounges out of the sun, inside, under a fan during the day. She is a delicate flower and doesn’t tolerate the heat well.

  13. redpeachmoon

    Beautiful photograph Jill! And balm for the news-weary lobe.
    Thanks. No Blame.

  14. Z

    Still, it seems to be kind of a farm with animals other than dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, functioning as pets! I also want lions on my farm, though! ;-)

  15. tinfoil hattie

    Awwww. I am heartwarmed. You are a warm & fuzzy softie, which just sorta makes me feel great after a day of hard blaming about everything from Strauss-Kahn not “really” raping the maid because the maid isn’t St. Theresa; to “kids need to be spanked which is not the same as hitting because they are bad”; to a recent FB mansplanation about how hard it was for women in the 60s.

    I’m going to just virtually rub faces with your gorgeous horsie now.

  16. Someone Else

    Wait, I am convinced I saw video of said horse being a big ol’ ears-back-teeth-forward snot, on this very blog, with the comment being something about her “charming personality”.

    Has she mended her ways under your gentle loving care? Because I kinda liked the snotty difficult version. (said as a person who does not have to deal with said snotty difficultness)

  17. Jill

    Good eye; it’s the same horse. And she really is charming. Owing to a lifetime as a show horse, meaning she has been confined in a stall pretty much 24/7 and forced to eat a large meal twice a day (as opposed to a horse’s natural schedule of 18 hours of casual but continuous grazing), she has developed food aggression issues and offers to kill any horse who gets near her at feeding time. Such as the horses stabled next to her.

    When summer is over and I can bring her home, she will be outside all the time, where she can graze like a horse. Hopefully her aggression will taper off when she realizes the food supply is continuous, but I don’t expect it will ever disappear completely.

  18. Shopstewardess

    Sorry to hear about the stifle lesion. I am at the age where my own knees are beginning to make themselves known to me, and it is not a good feeling.

    Is it Maypearl who hates being ridden? Horses have long memories, but if she is given a layoff of at least a year, and then started from scratch by you personally (ie someone she has learnt to trust) I would have thought she could get to the stage where being gently hacked round your farm would not be traumatic for her. Horses are pretty resilient, mentally speaking, if given the chance. If she has been ridden in Western tack, teaching her English style might help her make the transition.

    If Maypearl is anything like the formerly abused horses I’ve known, if she treated with due consideration, mixed with a measure of firmness, she will make it known when she is feeling grumpy (which is allowed and understood) but then just get on with the job. If she is dangerous, though, that’s a different matter. Life’s too short to ride horses which are so mentally disturbed that they are dangerous to their rider and incapable of being trained out of it.

  19. Ayla

    Pardon my horse ignorance, but why must one keep one’s horses away from home during the summer?

  20. Ayla

    Oops! I probably should have scrolled up a bit. Blasted mini-screen.

  21. zwarte

    whatever became of Stanley?

  22. buttercup

    We had a corgi who until the day he died was sure he was never, ever going to be given another meal. Great dog except around food. We really had to watch him. Dylan probably could have related to food-insecure horsie.

  23. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    There is a warm and floofy spot in my heart for anyone who takes in so-called “imperfect” animals. It’s anthropomorphizing like a monkey’s spinster aunt, but they are deeply grateful to those who show ’em kindness. You can feel it.

    Food aggression: I’ve known people who never got over not having enough when they were wee ones. Not to the point of antagonizing other humans sharing the table (thankfully), but loading up and chowing down as if they’re not on speaking terms with regular meals.

  24. veganrampage

    Projecting human characteristics onto animals is an insult to other species. We are animals, and the only insane ones on earth.
    The poor, poor horsie is a sensitive creature indeed, and so very often horribly treated. It warms the innards of my cold cold heart that you raise awareness by writing about the brutal practice of horse racing, and that you show such care and respect towards your animals companions.

  25. Oaktown Girl

    …and her top speed is “whoa,”

    OK, that was the biggest laugh I’ve had in some time.
    Thanks. I needed that.

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