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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  

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

August 2013 issue  

 

     We had finished mowing and baling our micro-haypatch, and went out to set up the irrigation again. Next to the fence was a magnificent thistle, not a Canada thistle, but not a variety I have been able to identify on the Montana Field Guide website.

     It had three tall, thick stalks, each four-feet high, broad prickly leaves, and large, gorgeous purple flowers. Rick immediately set to chopping it down with the claw of the hammer we use to open the irrigation valve.

     “I’ll give the thistle to the donkeys!” I offered since I was wearing leather gloves.

     I carried a stalk into the donkeys’ corral, and held it out for Fred and Ada to sniff. Fred, a former BLM donkey, was very interested and gingerly tasted the base of the tough stalk with his lips.

     He then decided to give it more of a firm bite and clenched it mightily between his incisors. But the stalk was not to be bitten in two!

     And then, suddenly, the Fred “Party of One” Rodeo was on!

     With the stalk firmly between his teeth, the leaves leapt to attack him. Or so he thought! He spooked backwards and sideways, one end of the weed in his mouth and the other chasing him mercilessly around the corral.

     He bucked and kicked, and the faster he ran, the faster that thistle was trying to catch up to him. He’d stop and give it his ol’ bugged-out eye, and it would settle down and not provoke him. But he only had to make the smallest of movements and that combative thistle was after him again!

     I was laughing hard at his four minutes’ worth of antics. Finally he stood still and released the stalk — and Whew! He was saved!

     I clipped off the flowers and left them in the donkeys’ feeder. They had been eaten a few hours later.

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     I recently spoke to one of our distributors in Nevada , and we talked about the heat wave. She mentioned that we should learn to take “siestas” in the heat of midday.

     Siestas do not fit in with the modern American work schedule. I also don’t understand why noon is considered the warmest time of day, since the highest temps at our place occur mid- to late-afternoon.

     However, I find the concept of siestas to be not only intriguing, but tempting!

     Siestas are good for humans. Here are some siesta facts: they can give you more energy, as well as improve your sense of happiness and well being; they improve productivity by 30% and alertness by up to 100%; they reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34%; and they reduce the risk of accidents at work and on the road.

 

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     This month, we are featuring our annual August reader photo album — “Families & Horses.” Many thanks to all of you who submitted photos of your family members being active with horses!

     We are asking readers to vote for their favorite photo, and we are offering two prize packages, each worth $150 — one to be given to the photo receiving the most votes, and one to be given to the voter whose name is picked in a random drawing. Please see Page 17 on how to vote by U.S. Mail, e-mail, or online!

 

     Thanks for your support of our magazine!

                                             

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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.

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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