Sunday, June 12, 2011

Every picture tells a story

Here is a hysterical picture of me on my sweet pony, Dimples, and my mom with a tail!!!!  (Click to enlarge.) How funny is that?  The date on the photo is January of 1971 but it must have been taken sometime in the summer of '71. I was four years old. Mom and I are sporting our favorite matching outfits - made out of old curtains.  I am not kidding - we have older photos of my mom from her high school days and those curtains are hanging in the living room window!

It looks to me like it is Maizie on Dimples. She really looked like that when she was four. Sadly, Maizie is terribly allergic to horses, but she does help me graze now and then. I had her take riding lessons last summer to learn basic horse safety, but her allergies made her face and eyes swell and kept her sneezing through the whole lesson. Fortunately, she did learn some important horse handling skills which came in handy last week when Foggy and Sovey got loose! I was leading Pie out of the ring gate and because it was so buggy and hot, Foggy decided he was leaving too. He slipped through the gate on the off side of Pie.  Sovey hesitated a moment while I was reacting and he also slipped out!  Both brothers were completely loose and without halters.  Maizie calmly walked up to the horses as they headed toward the barn and detained Sovey while Foggy investigated the wagonshed thoroughly.  Meanwhile, I was freaking out like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out what to do with Pie.  He was very cooperative and allowed me to stick him back in the pasture.  I ran up and grabbed two halters. Maizie put one on Sovey and I got Foggy.  She really saved the day with her calm demeanor and quick thinking - unlike me!  

I am struggling to find the perfect time of day to ride now that Maizie is home all day. I tried evenings for two nights. The honeysuckle smell has been heavenly and I love the soft pink evening light, but the bugs are just too bad.  Last evening Pie went crazy even though I sprayed him thoroughly. I thought he was going to buck me off because his belly was getting bit. Tonight's ride on Sovey was exactly the same - not pleasant because of the flies and gnats. I was bareback and poor Sovey shook so many times and his skin was flicking and twitching the whole time. 

I bring the horses into their stalls if it is 90 degrees or above during the day and they really don't want to go back outside in the evening because of the bugs. I am probably going to go back to morning rides and hope that makes a difference. I give the horses garlic, spray them with different products, and use fly masks, but this year nothing is working. Tonight while I was putting the bridle on Sovey in the forebay, he pushed the screen door open and walked back into the barn before our ride. Talk about giving me a complex! My horse disappears and hides in his stall when it is time to go riding. Ugh! 


  1. Good for your daughter! My husband is allergic to horses too, such a bummer. He did lean over Coriander's back the other day after I'd tacked him up. I might get him up there yet ;)

    Have you tried fly predators? They really seem to work.

  2. Aww.... poor Maizie! I didn't realize she was allergic to horses! What a tragic life... sounds like she's a natural horsewoman too. Too bad the bugs are so awful up there right now! What is going on these days?! I want to move to horsey heaven, but I'm not sure where that is anymore!

  3. Brave Maizie! Allergic though..ugh. Biting bugs are bad here too. I've had some success with all natural Zephyrs garden spray but on bad days, I have to use the toxic Mosquito Halt.

  4. Sounds like Maizie did a great job. Bugs I hate bugs, luckily we aren’t really having a problem with them at the moment, last year we did have some trouble with bugs irritating Niko the vet recommended Flypor, it is used on cattle, but the vet said to use it on Niko, it didn’t stop him being irritated completely but it did help, I don’t know if it is available in the USA?

  5. Darn bugs, they ruin all the fun!!

    Maybe Maize's allergies will eventually shift (mine still do) or become less severe? My sister-in-law did a preventive shot treatment series, so she could work on their farm. It worked really well for her. However I am sure it depends on many different factors.

  6. Maisie is a hero! What a great little girl. I'd be so proud. It's too bad about her allergies. Amazingly, my friend's daughter seemed to grow out of her horse allergy and now trains them, although she does use a puffer at times.
    As for flies, I've never found anything that works when it's hot out. I just try to ride really early when it gets bad. Good luck with it.

  7. P.S. - I love the picture of you on the pony, with your Mom!

  8. Thanks everyone for the great comments! I did use Predators last year - I will have to again next year. Mostly, our problem in PA is gnats - small black flies that are everywhere. They bite the ventral paramedian (underline) and make their bellies bloody and their ears bloody without masks. Very frustrating!

    Thanks Carol about the photo - I adore that photo too!

  9. That picture of your and your Mom (with the tail!) is priceless!!

    Val got eaten up by some new (to us) flies at my trainer's over the weekend - like green heads but neon green and yellow, fat and sausagey not long and slim. They left multiple hard raised bites that have lasted, and fly spray did no good whatsoever. :(

    I too hope that Maisie grows out of her allergies. She sounds like she's a natural. It seems that horses really respond to the pure hearts of youngsters :)

  10. I have a picture of me about the same age on a pony - but it was one of those that belong to the photographer. And, it was taken in 1951 - a few years ago.


  11. I was wondering how Maizie's riding lessons were going! Now I know! Looks like she will follow Brian's athletic pursuits rather than yours! That is just fine--I am sure this makes Brian pleased as punch. OH JULIETTE! Those curtains made into dresses! That is sooooo funny! They look like pretty AWSUM curtains though. I wonder if the material was hard to sew. I just love anyone who can bring about such a transformation. Because turning curtains into clothing is a real talent! I know what you mean about riding--what time of day? And the bugs! Even if I can bear them, do I want to subject a horse to it?
    It may make you feel better to know that sometimes the horses at Bear River Farm get out too. Sometimes they try to wander off, and when this happens I panic. As if that is a good idea. Thank goodness Maizie is so level headed. One time on April Fool's Day, Bill's wife came running in the house and screamed BILL!!! THE HORSES ARE OUT AND IN THE CENTER OF TOWN!! AAUUUGGGHHHH! And so Bill, staving off a heart attack, got into his shoes faster than a speeding bullet only to notice Jackie was just reading the paper and not getting ready to help him. Oh, she said, April Fool! I am not sure if he has forgiven her for that one yet!!!

  12. What a great photo, we have some of my mum and sister in matching sunflower dresses (curtains!) too, but I think she had abandonded dressmaking by the time I came along!

    I love that she is wearing white plimsoles practical, with a pony!

    Don't know what variety of bugs you get, but we are being eaten alive by midges who love our wet west coast of Scotland climate. Thankfully our daytime temperatures never reach so high as to prevent us getting out!

  13. I Love this photo of your mom and you with her cute 'Tail and the dress from the families curtains! HAHA! Pure Scarlet O'hara stuff there!

    Too bad that "Curlies" may not be needing retraing and adoption like OTTB's- or you could adopt one of them for Maise girl, they are "Hypo Allergenic"!

    Those bugs sound like what we had at the coast..the Noseums were terribly invasive-going into the nose,eyes and ears of human and horse alike! I thought to bring some new ARSENAL with me and it did work! Vicks vapo rub for the ears and belly..and "Cedar oil" for the face and body. The natlike black pepper sized bugs stayed at least a foot away then!

    Well, hang in and love to you and yours...summer is trying to come to Oregon..we get a day and then, like now, socked inside a raincloud . I am not complaing mind you..ity is a nice temp and I am an intrepid rider!


  14. Yes, bugs are a nuisance! My Boy hates 'em too and constantly shakes his head. It can be hard to be around him when he's fussing.
    I love the old vintage picture, aren't those the best???

  15. Juliette, Love the photo! I, too, remember when moms made clothes for us from curtains! Maizie was so great with the loose horses. I'm like you, more panicking than calm. The bugs are horrible. The commenter who mentioned Vicks and cedar oil has me intrigued...


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