Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There be Bison, Captain!

Ok, so I paraphrased Star Trek. But I was raised by Trekkies. Not the ones that follow the conventions around, but I had trekkie shows as the only option if I wanted to watch TV for years.
Today, I learned that Belle is not a fan of bison. There are cutting horses at my barn. They use bison calves instead of steer calves because they are smarter, have more stamina and can really stretch the abilities of the horse. And they are really cool. I normally do not ride with people. I am basically antisocial and avoid people, but I did not feel like braving the hurricane strength winds today to ride outside. I rode with others. Belle is not used to this. I was also too crowded to pony Foxy, which is what I did yesterday outside. Foxy needs the exercise, but she is on maternity leave and the kids are out of town anyway. . .
If I just turn her loose, she runs up to Belle, flips around and starts kicking the crap out of her.
So, today, I had an audience. Belle loves to perform for an audience. That is probably the reason that she was so good at anytime but Christmas when she was a carriage horse. At Christmas, she is not the center of attention.
Any way, back to the Bison.
Belle did great, showing off her smooth as silk jog, her ground eating extended trot (for you carriage drivers, past and present, that is how she always caught the carriage in front of her)and then her unbelievable lope. It is so smooth, but feels like I am driving a V10. Only those that ride a draft or a very tall powerful horse can really comprehend the absolute power trip. One of the other riders asked how I could ride the lope. It looked uncomfortable.
We rode for a while, warming everybody up and then out came the bison.
Now I call them Bison because that is what they are. They may be commonly called buffalo but are only distantly related to the buffalo of Asia or Africa. Google it.
I figured that Belle, being a Clydesdale, would have no clue what to do with an animal of the bovine persuasion. I was wrong. Her goal was to stay as far away from it as possible. All I wanted her to do was stand quietly and watch the other horses work the bison. Everytime one would almost get away from the horse, and act like it might come near her, Belle would get really nervous. She worked up more of a sweat attempting to stand than she did with the arena work. When the first calf was done, I pointed Belle towards it. It was already heading out of the arena, but Belle followed it. She is only nervous when they might actually be thinking about coming after her. I had to dry her out for a while. Foxy had worked up a sweat, too. She panics without Belle. While Belle was drying, I led Foxy to watch the bison. She wanted in with them. She is definitely a Quarter Horse. I gave her a very thorough rub down. I don't normally brush her. The kids love to brush her and she is their horse. With them gone, I can tell that she misses them. She has been very affectionate. I took measurements of her belly today. I figure that it might be one way to document her pregnancy. Her heart girth measurement was 80 inches. The biggest part of her barrel measured 84 inches. At the flank, she measured 77 inches.


  1. I think the white lettering is easier to read, it is more distinct from the black background. As i get older i have that diminishing eyesight thing going on!
    At least when the weather is so bad you can find entertainment at the barn

  2. My husband agreed with you about the lettering.

    I am just grateful to find a barn with an indoor arena so that we can escape from the weather until we can all toughen up.