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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

By Natalie Riehl  

editor@rockymountainrider.com 

 

April 2013 issue  

 

 

     For the past three nights, we have gotten snow flurries which have left an inch on the ground that burns off by noon and, hopefully, a few inches in the mountains which won’t burn off till late June. It’s been wintry in the mornings, but spring-like in the afternoons. I can say to myself that I’ll have to mow the lawn by mid-April, but it is so hard to believe!

     Our circle of pale blue crocus are the lone spot of color in the garden. Rick has patiently uncovered the straw he uses to insulate the plants, and has made a tall pile of burnable material. The narcissus is about to bloom, and the hyacinths will say hello soon. The raspberries are looking stubbier than I like from the winter roaming deer.

     The green grass is coming in fast. One week, the pasture is brown and next it’s green. The horses do not appreciate the closed gate which stops them from getting out to the grazing. My grulla mare and the donkeys are particularly disruptive because they like to paw up the roots for an extra treat.

     Did I ever tell you about the April some years back that was so hot and dry, that I got into the flower planting mood and made the BIG mistake of buying petunias and geraniums for the planters on my deck? How luxuriously warm the sun was as I planted them. I enjoyed them for two days before the weather changed!

     That year, the month of May was cold and miserable. Every night, I found myself pulling the heavy flower pots back under the porch and covering them with sheets. 
     All because I didn’t wait until Mother’s Day before planting. The greenhouses and gardening businesses around here love people like me!

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     One tough thing about this job is that my eyes are bigger than my pocketbook. I am constantly tempted by so many fine horses which are advertised in this magazine — stock, gaited, Spanish, mountain, wild, tame and athletic.

     There are so many remarkable breeds of horses, I wish I could try out every one of them. And think about the cross-bred opportunities!

     In listening to a lecture by Colorado veterinarian emeritus Marvin Beeman at Montana State University ’s Equine Expo some years ago, I was fascinated by his lecture on the structural soundness of different breeds of horses. He pointed out how the conformation is different based on what the horse has been bred to do. He had marvelous slides of equine skeletons and the viewer could easily understand the mechanics of specific movements.

     I confess that I could have watched many more of his slides and heard him describe them than time would allow!

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     I hope you’ll be getting out soon, in the warm spring sun to brush the mud and shedding hair from your critters, detangle their manes and tails, and get ready for spring riding.             

    

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine • Montana Owned & Operated 
PO Box 995 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • 888-747-1000  •  406-363-4085 • info@rockymountainrider.com