Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The things we do for our horses...

I mentioned that we are in the middle of one of the nastiest mosquito seasons ever, remember?

Well, Limerick isn't taking this so well...she's always been super-sensitive to bugs (crossing her eyes in an attempt to watch a fly land on her nose and getting her right hind leg stuck in her stall window while kicking out at a fly comes to mind) and I would guess that if you asked her, she would state that this is the worst summer, ever.

The mosquitoes are so relentless that clouds of them hover inside the barns... relentless that they will swarm and bite me even after I apply half a bottle of Deep Woods OFF! insect repellent... relentless that Limerick stops, eyes huge, and goes into Total Freakout Mode when she sees a puddle of standing water.... relentless that this summer alone I've seen Limerick go into more acrobatic scratching poses (the type you tend to only see small ponies and dogs do) than I have in the rest of my 14+ years with her.

But despite all this, I thought she was doing ""okay"" with them. I did wish I could bring her home with me at night and bed her down in my living room so she would be mosquito-free for a few blessed hours, but she was ""okay"", right? That belief was knocked down when I visited her one evening a few nights ago.

There I was, standing at the door to her stall, snapping a carrot in half, and did she look at me? Nope! She's only ignored a carrot breaking in half three times in her life, and needless to say, at each of those three times she was in a lot of pain. I went over to her and put my hands on her neck and shoulders. Her pounding heartbeat resonated through her chest and to my hands. I was concerned but after a quick check, found her okay otherwise.

She was simply done with those damn mosquitoes. She had it up to here. She was downright angry with them! That was it, I was declaring war on those bugs.

The very next day, I ordered an Amigo Mio tight-mesh fly sheet with a neck cover for Lim and checked off "overnight" in the shipping options. Then, on my way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a dozen mosquito repellent bracelets made for humans, as well as one of those little battery-powered repellent fans.

That evening, I tucked the fan into the waistband of my jeans, switched it on, and spent an hour braiding the bracelets into her mane and tail. I also saturated her so heavily with my usual Pyranha aerosol spray that I momentarily wondered if I would develop lung cancer in a few years. I also told her that she had something very special coming...

The next day, it arrived. Boy, was it ugly:

(Not Limerick)

But it would get the job done!!

Lim doesn't really like blankets or sheets (okay, downright hates them) but she didn't protest in the least when I put this one on her. It fit well (I ordered a size up to ensure good coverage) and actually didn't look half-bad. I think.

For added measure, I pulled the belly straps through a couple extra insect repellent bracelets. So far everything seems to be working OK and holding up in turnout, and Lim doesn't bat an eye when I put this sheet on her (if anything, she nods off).

If only I could permanently attach that little battery-powered repellent fan to her somehow...

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