Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The dapples are emerging, so spring is officially here.

Limerick's dapples have begun to emerge from beneath layers of shedding winter hair and dirt, not unlike the blades of green grass and daffodil leaves emerging in yards and gardens around here.

I am no poet but I was inspired to write this:

Dead vegetation
And hair
Flattened by pressure
From wind and hand
Float away
To feed the earth
And leave behind
Blooming dapples and life

Monday, March 30, 2015

A deaf receptionist in the White House

Today I read this article about a deaf woman acting as the gatekeeper to the Oval Office--and the President.

I think that's quite amazing, and I hope that people around the country read this and realize that there is little that the deaf cannot do.

It's been 7 years since I last needed to search for a job but I remember the discrimination I faced during the search. In fact, this blog was started during that time frame partly in response to that discrimination.

In the years before and since, I have encountered discrimination in various forms. I have a thick skin and most of the barbs tossed my way--whether intentional or not--don't penetrate because the people doing the throwing have no power over me. But once in a while, they do have such power--nurses, doctor's office managers, potential employers, friends, family members, and so on. And most of these people are basing their discrimination upon what they assume I cannot do.

And in assuming, they forget what I can do, and what I am--an intelligent, creative, observant, capable individual. The only thing I cannot do for certain is talk on the phone, which isn't a big deal in this era. My only request is that people look at me when talking to me so that I may read their lips.

Most of us have limitations. What are yours? How do you work around them--if at all?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

19 years

To my darling Limerick,

Happy 19th 'anniversary'.

Much love, 


Racing Reviewer: Racing in New Orleans: Two Loves

Some places touch a deep part of your soul. For me, New Orleans and its heady weird beauty is such a place. Each time my plane descends towards Louis Armstrong International Airport, over the resplendent gray-blue expanse of Lake Pontchartrain and the silty ribbon of the Mississippi, with its barges and tugboats and green grassy banks, my heart skips like a happy colt and a part of me feels like I’ve come home.

Continue reading at Racing Reviewer...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Before and after: a grooming saga

Mud, mud, mud everywhere. Yet it's too cold to give your horse a bath. The months of March and April can really test your horse grooming skills.
Yesterday a friend sent me a photo of Lim in turnout. My darling mare looked adorable, of course, but boy was she dirty! It was time for a deep grooming session, which can be fun when you have a quirky mare.

First I used a metal curry to remove all the mud and loose hair. She dozed off during this section. Next, I used a double-sided rubber curry (one side has large nubs and the other side has fine ones) to curry her hair and skin. She didn't doze off during this section, but she stood patiently. Next I used a stiff body brush to whisk away dust and loose dirt. She eyeballed me during this section but made no complaints otherwise. Lastly, I sprayed Vetrolin Shine onto a horsehair finishing body brush to complete the body grooming session. She pinned her ears and let me know she wasn't too pleased with this delicate brush. 

Next I sprayed her tail and mane liberally with Vetrolin Shine. I then brushed her tail out, from bottom to top. I haven't brushed it all winter so it took a while--you don't want to pull on the knots.

Then I brushed her mane very well and gave it a light trim to tidy up the uneven edges.

Lastly, I groomed her face and head. 

The entire session took about 1.5 hours but it was so worth it, and the liberal applications of Vetrolin Shine will make it easier to remove any fresh mud she rolls in.

"Stop, no photos please!" (photo courtesy Mary)

"Photos are perfectly okay."

Monday, March 16, 2015

Medium: Finding Ogygian

Ogygian died last night. He was three days away from his 32nd birthday.

He was a dazzling racehorse, as speedy as they came. But I didn’t know him as a racehorse.

He was a moderately successful sire here in the States and in Japan. But I didn’t know him as a sire.

He was a beloved pensioner at Old Friends Equine. And I did know him in this role — as one of the retirement facility’s earliest ambassadors.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Using a Game Ready unit for the first time

After a long brutal stretch of cold air and endless crusty snow cover, spring has abruptly arrived. And even better—we have been rewarded with warm air and sunny skies rather than the lukewarm torrential rains that typically mark the end of winter.

But no matter how Mother Nature brings it about, the end of winter always signals lots of mud, frisky horses, and injuries. 

Despite being a dignified lady of near-24, Limerick is not exempt from this annual rite of passage. I took a quick jaunt to New Orleans last week and my first stop from O’Hare was the barn, where I found my girl wounded (of course—it seems like most of her injuries are discovered by me upon returning from a trip). 

Blood had cascaded from a mystery wound down the white sock of her right fore pastern. I could not see the wound clearly, even by the light from my phone’s flashlight. Since she was sound and comfortable, and the wound wasn’t grotesquely swollen or hot, and it was very late, very cold, and very dark, I decided to leave the dried blood as a natural bandage of sorts and visit her again the next morning.

The wound turned out to look much worse than it really was, but it still required attention. So thus began a twice-daily routine of cold hosing and/or icing. 

Then Christine suggested we try her Game Ready machine on Lim’s legs. Lim has never used it but what better time to try? It applies both compression and cold therapies simultaneously, and I was impressed with the condition of the injury after 35 minutes with the Game Ready. 

If you have horses, I highly suggest looking into one of these units. 

Using the Game Ready.

It was back to turnout--and her boyfriend, Call Shot--after the Game Ready session.