I am sure those of you who have horses that have gone lame, or been put down with colic, or who have been hurt riding, can't afford horses at all etc.etc would agree that having to buy your own pine shavings for six weeks is kind of like breaking a nail on the equine bad luck scale, but whatever. Still not good.
It could be because reading about stupid things that happen to people is fun, and this blog is for entertainment purposes only.
But regardless, I am up for the challenge.
Dressage Curmudgeon, what is something in the horse world that you have ALWAYS had good luck with.
I would say the answer is... boarding at stables run by farmers. Or people that at some point in their life, maybe not now, but as children or teens or whatever, had to rely on the basic concepts of biology to make a living.
|My dream BO. Please email me if you have found him.|
- If I don't feed my cattle, they won't be healthy, and won't grow properly (or cows / milk - same idea).
- If I don't fertilize my plants, they won't be healthy, and won't grow properly
- If my pigs are miserable, they won't be healthy, and won't grow properly
- If my fences are not secure, my cattle may find somewhere to be healthy and grow properly, but I won't know where the hell that is.
And having healthy, growing things equals money to a farmer.
So, when it is time to care for YOUR animal, they will know how to get the job done. They understand healthy, and growing (or not growing, when it comes to horses - they understand that "fat" is not "healthy"). Best of all, they won't try to use psychology on YOU to rationalize any stupid decisions they are making that just don't wash from a biological point of view.
Alternatively, someone who has worked too long in an office or service industry for a multinational company has been trained to work in an alternative universe. A world where having the ability to convince someone that something that is total cheap and useless shit is in fact golden and wonderful is not only good, but promotion worthy. No health or growth is required, other than on the charts in the shareholder's report quarterly.
Many millions of dollars are spent, and salary bonuses are given, to those who are best able to twist the minds of consumers to believe that:
If it is in a nice package - it is good
If it is sold at a high end store - it is good
If celebrities endorse it - it is good
And so on.
I don't need to go into great detail on this, as we are all well aware of the power of marketing. I am sure we all have our favourite examples, I think mine right now has to be the fact that people can sell $100 boxes of laxatives that give you explosive diarrhea, and call them "Detox Kits". That, my friends, is the power of marketing summarized in one sentence.
Now, even people who have not worked in such industries are affected by them, and thus we have many boarding stables out there who put the sizzle before the proverbial steak, and as a result, do a really fancy looking, sexy sounding, shitty job of running their equine business.
The other thing about farmers is that they have a hard core, no holds barred concept of what constitutes "essential animal care". Farmers have killed injured kittens by whacking them with shovels, and shot their own dog after it went renegade and killed the neighbour's chickens. They have had to scoop up dead things with skidsteers, and pull calves using those winch things that go on cow's butts. They may have ripped the testicles out of day old piglets with a pen knife. That is how you get the job done, down on the farm.
Because of this time spent in the agricultural trenches, they are likely to focus on tried and tested things to keep your animal healthy. Boring things like - high quality feedstuffs, fed in appopriate amounts, and regular veterinary care.
They are extremely unlikely to suggest any "alternative modality" bullshit to you, or to tsk-tsk to others when you do not drink the kool-aid of "enlightened" horse care. They will not suggest that having a $100 per hour acupuncturist poke some flaming corks into your horses spine will be a good use of your money. Or that water sold for $50 and labelled as "homeopathic" is just the ticket that Stormy needs on his way to GP. Or that what your horse really needs is a $50 pail of some basic mineral with a tarted up label and name, that you can buy for cattle for a fraction of the price. Even if that price includes the scoop. Or that Lauren Bode has any foggy clue what the fuck she is talking about.
|I like to use marshmallows...mmm... that my friends, is called MULTITASKING!|
Which in my books, is a good thing.
You can also be fairly sure that you won't come home from holidays to a $50,000 vet bill and your horse in a sling at U.o.G Barbaro style, because "we had to do EVERYTHING to save him". They realize that animals are animals, and they don't sit around thinking "wow, tomorrow is going to be a GREAT day! Can hardly wait to live to see it!"..but that they live in the moment, and if quality of life is not present, the horse doesn't want to be either. They will make the right choices for you, in your absence.
Now, it is not all rosy down on the agriculturally inspired boarding stable. Admittedly farmers typically don't put as much time into thinking about things like:
- I am going to Bath and Body works - should I get vanilla cookie or berry explosion hand sanitizer for the tack room?
- Does anyone need Tim's - I am going
- Nice stall plaques lift everyone's spirits
- Wave petunias - now in white! Do they look great out front, or what.
So if you do board at a hard core farmer barn, you may have to take responsibility for your own aesthetic joy. Your friends may make fun of you when you tell them you have to pee in the stall with your horse. I suggest that you pack some wet wipes, and keep that part to yourself. Or don't have anything to drink within 3 hours of going to the barn.