Wind Power

Grassy Munchies all!

Today we had a trail riding session that was rather windy. And, much to Kat’s amusement, windy in more ways than the weather. I feel comfortable sharing this with you now and also admitting it’s nothing new.

Yes, I suffer from wind.

Anyway, today we had a 10-mile training session planned with Sara and Tilly. However, Sara slept through her alarm, so me and Kat did a much shorter session. Hurrah for Sara!

Shorter than planned training session – thanks Sara!

Given that Kat arrives in the dark some mornings, I have to assume she never sleeps through her alarm. I think I’d like to swap humans.

Anyway, back to the wind.

Kat, quite rudely, likens my gassy emissions to a trombone – whatever that is. Not only that, she says my trombone is playing a tune! I mean, what does she expect? She’d be a bit windy if her diet was just fibre.

I personally think a soundtrack to our training sessions is something she should be grateful for. Bonus I say. And, it certainly beats her singing.

Kat also has to take some of the blame for my windiness. She ensures I am able to eat grass or hay all the time which keeps my unique digestive system working as it should – pretty actively.

Being able to continually eat forage also helps me maintain my body temperature in the cold weather, keeping me lovely and warm. Okay, so maybe all of this is a good thing, but I’m sticking with the blame game.

I have noticed that Tilly doesn’t make any windy emissions like mine. To be honest, none at all really. I reckon she is either:

A) very adept in control
B) just not producing the same level of wind
C) a lady

To Tilly’s credit though, she has always been very polite about my wind problem. I appreciate this, especially as she is usually bringing up the rear – my rear. I’m never quite sure if she is:

A) quietly disgusted
B) a little bemused
C) deaf

I did used to feel quite happy and proud of my audible and constant windiness, but I have felt less so on hearing the level of mirth it creates for Kat and Sara.

I think Kat might have picked up on my despondency when she tried to make me feel a bit better about the situation. She said it was my ‘Super-Power’. Apparently, it propels me up the hills with an almighty surge. Sounds good to me – in both ways.

Happy Grassy Munchy New Year one and all !


PS: I have a feeling 2020 is when my Trail Riding will begin in earnest. Wish me luck!

The Case of My Extreme Hairiness

Mucho Grassy Munchies all!

Now the weather is colder my extreme hairiness is reaching extraordinary new levels.

I am a trail riding horse with the most lustrous facial and belly beard and my feathers are so dense it’s practically impossible to find my legs.

I’m rather proud of this hairy abundance, which serves its purpose very well in the Winter weather. Unfortunately, it does present a dilemma during my training sessions. I’ll come to this later.   

On the plus side my hair has the ability to fluff up – literally stand on end – creating a lovely toasty layer of insulation around my body.  Kat says I look like I’ve put my hoof in an electric socket.  See what I have to put up with?

This insulation trick works a treat – up to a point. Heavy rain or strong winds will mess the hair up making the insulation less effective. Huddling together as a group can help but, unfortunately, where I live there is a lot of wind and rain!

Between you and me, I really think Kat should have given my accommodation a bit more thought.

My extremely hairy winter coat also has two layers. The outer layer prevents rain and snow getting through to the inner layer, keeping my skin nice and dry.  Amazingly, snow will sit on this outer layer without penetrating further.  Even more amazing, this snow can act as a third top layer adding even more insulation!

My double layered very hairy Winter coat

On the down side, I sweat during our training sessions.  And, I mean really sweat.  We’re talking right down to a drippy belly beard.  It’s quite embarrassing to be honest.

I’m glad Murray isn’t around to see me in this hot and bothered state. I would have been hot and bothered on top of hot and bothered. If you get my drift.

Having a fabulous roll in the mud after training helps cool me down, not to mention gives Kat some extra work to do cleaning me up.  Fair do’s I say.

I have discussed the sweat issue with Kat – even making the helpful suggestion of abandoning training until it’s a bit warmer.  When my hair is, well… just less.  Perfectly reasonable if you ask me. Kat doesn’t agree.

She says we won’t be able to choose the weather when we’re out on the trail all day every day and its good practise.  Mmmh, I still haven’t been consulted about this trail riding malarkey.

Some of my friends have their hair cut short in the Winter.  This means they don’t have the unpleasant sweat problem, but they do lose their outer layer and also the ability to ‘fluff up’.  To keep them warm their humans put a blanket on them.   Seems like a win-win to me.

They don’t have to contend with any humiliating ‘dampness’ and their humans don’t spend hours de-mudding them.  They also never have to contend with the wind and rain messing up their natural insulation.  In-fact, they just stay a lovely snug warm temperature all wrapped up in their blankets.  

I do sometimes wonder if their mud rolls are a bit of a disappointment. Or, how they keep cool on warmer days.

All in all though I can’t imagine being without my extreme hairiness.  

Not only does it perform amazingly throughout all seasons to keep me warm, dry, cool and relatively free from bothersome summer flies, it ensures a damned good groom between me and my pals.  

For my friends who wear blankets they only have a bit of neck to be nibbled on.  I on the other hand can present my whole body for grooming, belly beard and all.  

It’s positively lit. Init.

I’ve been hanging out with Kat’s young human. He seems to use a different language.


F x

Tricks, Frippery and Terrys Chocolate Orange

Hello and Frosty Grassy Munchies to one and all.

This morning I pulled every trick out of my hairy feathers to avoid being head collared and ridden by Kat.  

Me and my pals were happily topping up our hay levels with a lovely new bale when I caught her out of the corner of my eye.   

She was striding across the field, armed with the head collar and that ‘we’re going riding’ manner.  It’s very different to the ‘I’m just here to give you your lovely soggy grassy munchies, a good scratch and be on my way’ walk.  

Well, I’m sorry, but I just wasn’t feeling it today.  However, I did want my breakfast.  It was a situation that required quick thinking on my hoofs and a good deal of my resourceful stealth and cunning.

Kat waited at the gate with my breakfast but I stood my ground in the middle of the field.  Eventually, she bought the bucket to me; still armed with the dreaded head collar and making a lousy attempt to hide it.  Really?  With my 6 senses am I actually going to be fooled by the old head collar round the back trick?

 Anyway, my nifty technique involved circling the bucket just out of her reach.  With my mouth as wide open as possible, I would take a swift and stealthy dive at the bucket and grab as much grassy soggy munchies as possible.  I then quickly hot hoofed it out of her reach and continued with the circling.  This proved quite successful.  For about 3 decent mouthfuls.  

Kat then switched position and barred the access to my breakfast.  Can I just repeat that.  MY breakfast!   Every time I tried to get to it, she kept blocking me.  So now she was circling the bucket!  This really was turning into a right old debacle. 

Not one to be defeated, I eventually found an opening and went in.  I was just managing to get some pretty decent mouthfuls when WHAM, head collar was on.  Foiled!  How in the blazing green grasses did that happen!?

Between you and me though, I am quietly optimistic about being able to improve this cunning trick and have stored it up my extremely hairy feathers for another day.   

For this day I had to accept defeat and off we went to meet Aunty Tills. 

We had a long ride through the woods in a really cold wind, but as usual we were kept moving and got nice and warm.  

I could happily bet all the blades of grass in my field that Kat will dismount as soon as we get into these woods and have a not so discreet loo stop.  This usually happens after our first vigorous trot and today was no exception. Sara says Kat has a bladder the size of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.  I tend to agree, although I have no idea what one is. Or who Terry is.

Contemplating Terry
Aunty Tills admiring the view – or the grassy munchy opportunity

 When we got back to my field I was poised for the ‘you’re such a good clever girl, here have a lovely hay cob’ moment when up the road came this lot! 

They were adorned with such impressive sparkly frippery and finery and off to something called The Pub.  I reckon I might have been a bit more obliging earlier on if Kat had got me an invite to this Pub and dressed me up all shiny and sparkly.  I think she really needs to do better and consider my feelings a bit more.

Only thing I get to show off is a muddy bottom – it’s really not good enough

I must admit though, once I was back in the field, I soon forgot all about the frippery and finery and had the most glorious roll in the mud.

I then set about making up for the last 3 hours with some vigorous hay munching – and plotting how to triumph next time with the head collar avoidance trick. 


F x

Leader or Boss?

Festive Grassy Munchies all!

When I’m not being prepared by my human Kat for life as a trail riding horse, I’m having an altogether pleasing time just being a horse, with my pals in our field.  

The field is a large space and there are 5 of us in our little herd. There is an accepted hierarchy.  I appear to be No 4, second to the bottom (I’m working on this). 

What it means is there are 3 others who are allowed to eat the haylage before me and to move me out of their way.  Or any way they feel like actually.  I feel very smug when Kat comes into the field and moves them out of MY way.

Anyway, it’s a work in progress and my extreme hairiness is a good disguise for my true wily and tenacious nature. You remember the grand theft hay cob incident don’t you? Say no more. I will be No 3 by the time I’m 6.

As there is one below me, there is hope.  Although, Tiger is the only male of the field so it could be argued he is taking his rightful place.   

Macy and Tiger – who appears to be practising his under-hay breathing. I’m squeezing in on the haylage action at the back there.

Cassie is very much the Leader of our group, with Gilly her close No 2.

Cassie with her No 2

A Leader horse is very different to a Boss horse.  Leaders are intelligent and use minimal effort to make us ‘want’ to do as they ask and to follow them.

Boss horses, on the other hand, are dim-witted and heavy-hoofed.  They make a real song and dance about ‘ordering’ us to do what they command and to follow their bossy lead. Or else.

It’s easy to tell the difference.  Even a human could probably spot this one.

Leaders just give us ‘that’ look and we understand what we need to do.  A Boss horse will create a right old rumpus over the smallest thing.  They will charge at us, ears pinned back, teeth bared to bite our retreating bums.  Even worse, run us a ragged 10 laps round the field, just to move us away from the haylage.   It’s all very brash and unnecessary.

The main problem with Boss horses though is they’re using up all their energy to put on this hullabaloo of a show.  The question we then ask as a herd is how much energy will they have left when they need to lead us into a flight or death situation?

The Leader horse who uses little energy to get us to do what they want, generally earns the respect as the intelligent, trustworthy Leader. The one we feel confident and safe in following. The one we know will have unstoppable energy to help us all hot-hoof it if a lion came calling. 

Cassie fills this role pretty well.  She is another wise old lady with plenty of years under her fetlocks.  

Echo used to tell me about Murray who was the out and out Leader from the moment he stepped one of his long, black, aristocratic limbs into the field.  He only had to saunter past the other horses and they were putty in his hoofs.  Secretly, I think all the females were up to their forelock in deep swoon. 

This is Murray – deep swoon or what?

Humans can get annoyed with their horse if they are a bit lazy out on the trail or in the arena.  Little do they realise they might have a highly intelligent Leader horse as their partner, conserving vital energy in-case they need to high tail it in the opposite direction to something intent on a horse/human sandwich for dinner!

It’s grass for thought actually. Perhaps I’m a bit too keen on my training sessions…

We of course prefer to have a Leader horse in charge rather than a Boss horse.  Same goes for our humans.  We like quiet but clear and considerate requests that make us feel safe, confident and happy.  Much nicer than a loud, flappy, angry, order, thank you very much.   

I haven’t experienced much loud flappyness from Kat yet, although she did get a bit cross the other day while she was cleaning my feet.  I was convinced that with a little effort, and on 3 legs, I could reach those hay cobs in her zipped pocket. I did hear her muttering something about NO more hay cobs for you Mrs. Might have blown that one.

Until next time, soggy grassy munchies

F x

Soggy grassy munchie heaven

Just the Two of Us?

Grassy Munchies all!

Life in the field with my pals has settled down recently to a nice routine of food, food and more food.

We have a constant supply of hay and Kat, my human, visits every day with a bucket full of delicious mushed up grassy munchies. I can’t tell you how amazing it is; I can quite lose myself.

Our training sessions seem to be less, which Kat says is because there’s more dark. Whatever. It works for me.

There is just one thing that isn’t right and for the hairy feathers of me I cannot understand it.

As a horse we feel safest with our own kind. It’s a safety in numbers thing. Our highly tuned instinct to detect horse eating beasts is far stronger combined than individually. It also means we can snooze if someone else is on watch. Bonus.

So why in the blazing green grasses does Kat insist on taking me on a training session without any of my pals. Just her? How can I rely on her detecting a horse devouring threat from mere instinct when she’s not one of us?

I don’t mean to be rude, but do humans actually have any instinct?

Kat says the females often do, but the males are pretty devoid. And I mustn’t mention this to John, her male human.

Needless to say I have raised the question of ‘just the two of us’ over and over.

I’ve suggested we just don’t go at all. Nope. Or maybe ask one of my pals if they want to come too? Nope. I continually recommend the quicker route home. Nope. The fact I could literally be saving our lives here just doesn’t seem to be getting through.

Between you and me I did discover quite a nifty trick of taking the quicker route myself.

I just locked my neck, set my jaw and hey presto I was in control! Unfortunately, Kat responded by the aptly named ‘circle dance’. She just turned me round and round until I was so dizzy I didn’t realise I was back on her longer route until it was too late.

Then, one day I was quietly moving into the neck lock position when this long stick appeared from nowhere. I didn’t fancy moving towards that stick at all, I can tell you.

I’ve heard stories from my pals about these sticks, or whips as they are sometimes called. I know if a human hits you with them they will hurt. I can’t see Kat doing that, but the fact it was there was enough to ruffle even my extremely hairy feathers.

The stick has been there ever since so I guess that nifty trick has had it’s day.

So it seems these ‘just the two of us’ training sessions are here to stay.

Just the two of us. Plus a random photographer.

Echo, who left us in the summer to make her journey to the ever green fields and horse friends over the bridge, told me not to worry. She said her and Kat used to go for miles, always just the two of them and that eventually she began to trust Kat’s instincts, almost as she would one of her pals.

I find that hard to believe, but Echo was one wise old lady who I respected and trusted, even if she did only have one eye. So I guess I need to trust her on this one.

And, I suppose I could at least try and trust Kat. After all, her instincts were bang on with the soggy delicious grassy munchies she brings me every day.

Still, if she’s asking me to trust her instincts and follow her as my leader, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put this to the test now and then. You know, just in case I did find any more nifty tricks up my feathers. Perfectly reasonable if you ask me.

Until next time – GMFN