8 Secrets Only Horse People Know

cowgirl thoughts
Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/cowgirl-hat-country-western-ranch-4190437/

1. Windy Days Give Riders Anxiety.  If you have never ridden a horse before, then you might not understand why windy days cause riders anxiety.  But if you are a rider, then you get it completely.  Windy days are scary because they provide nearly constant opportunities for your horse to spook.  It might be an object moving in a terrifying way, like a bag blowing in the wind, or a tumbleweed taking flight, or a leaf scuttling across the ground.  The sights are frightening enough, but the sounds might be even worse to your equine.  With the wind blowing, a horse cannot hear the approach of predators as he normally would; so on windy days, he will be hyper-vigilant.  That’s why he might bolt at the slightest sound.  It’s possible he will spook at something you cannot hear, and you probably won’t have any warning.  This is how horses have survived for thousands of years, and there isn’t much we can do about that.  Just use the indoor ring and take it slow…  

2. Riding Bareback is Easy.  Indeed, you might think that riding without a saddle is difficult.  I did too.  When my riding instructor first removed my saddle, I was nervous.  But as my horse walked on, I was surprised by how comfortable I was.  Without stirrups to use, my legs hung long and gripped the horse securely.  Plus, gravity was my friend; even during the bouncy trot, I felt pretty safe.  If my horse had bolted (which he didn’t), then there was always the mane to grab onto.  In short, bareback riding is easier than you think.  

Now, this isn’t to say that beginners should ride bareback.  If you don’t have an instructor around, or if your mount is temperamental, then don’t risk it!  Better safe than sorry, right?  

3. Going Fast is Easy.  Again, riding fast is easier than you might think.  If you ever had a pony ride as a kid, then you might remember how bouncy the trot was.  Perhaps you thought: “Yikes!  I can barely stay seated at this slow pace.  I wonder how they do it at a gallop?”  

Actually, it’s not that hard.  Cantering, the next speed up from trotting, is smooth as silk.  It feels like flying.  Galloping is a little rougher, but still smoother than trotting.  

So if your instructor tells you to canter for the first time, don’t worry.  It’s time to fly!  

4. Leather and Water do Mix.  One time, the owner of the barn where I took lessons asked me to use a moist rag to clean a bridle.  I was horrified, like she had just asked me to commit a crime. 

“But water ruins leather!”  I protested. 

“A little bit won’t hurt it.”  She replied.  “And water is just what we need to remove that dried-on grass.”  

I was still hesitant, but she insisted.  So, with much fear and trembling, I tried it.  The bridle was fine!  

It was oddly liberating to know that I could use water on leather.  After that, whenever mowed grass or mud got stuck to my boots, I applied a damp cloth, and presto!  All clean.  

5. Saddles Creak Constantly.  Books about horses may describe the thud of hoof beats, but they never mention the squeaking of the saddle.  And believe me, saddles squeak constantly.  Below is a video of my friend Anne Leueen riding her horse Biasini.  Just turn your volume up, and you’ll hear what I mean about the noise.  

5. Horse Eyes Adjust Slowly.  Horses are used to living outdoors.  In nature, light changes slowly; the sun gradually sinks below the horizon over a period of hours.  So their eyes adjust slowly to light changes.  This works fine in the wild, but horses who live in stables can have a problem.  When you lead your horse out of the barn and into blinding sunlight, your eyes probably get used to it within a handful of seconds.  Horse eyes, however, can take up to 20 minutes to adjust.  So for newbie riders, here’s a pro tip: when entering or exiting a dark stable, stop for a few minutes and let those beautiful equine eyes adjust.  Your horse will thank you.  

6. Your Horse Wants Your Beer.  Surprisingly, many horses throughout the ages have enjoyed a cold one.  A horse named Comanche, who was the only confirmed survivor of Custer’s Last Stand, enjoyed beer.  Another famous equine, Sargent Reckless, earned 2 Purple Hearts during the Korean War.  She also acquired a taste for alcohol.  In addition, I’ve heard of a horse who would only take his supplements if half a bottle of Guinness was added first.  

So why do horses like beer?  Well, I don’t have any scientific evidence for this, but my theory is that horses enjoy the taste of the beer’s barley.  As you may already know, horses are not just fed hay — they also eat grains, such as oats and (you guessed it) barley.  

7. Dirt Makes a Great Spray-Tan Substitute.  Don’t knock it until you try it.  

8. The Mysterious Horse-Human Bond.  This is hard to describe if you’ve never felt it before.  Really, only horse people truly understand this, but I’ll do my best to describe it.  It’s something about that feeling of freedom as you gallop through a field, that feeling of accomplishment as you soar over a jump you never could before, that feeling of warmth when your horse comes running after you call him.  Furthermore, the horse-human bond is special because it should never work.  Horses are prey animals, while humans are predators.  As Anne once put it: “We are their natural enemies, yet they choose to work with us.”  Isn’t that amazing?  

So did any of these surprise you?  How many did you already know?  Leave a comment to let the world know!  

And until next week: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

You May Also Enjoy…

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/10-weird-facts-about-horses/

Guest Post: Why Do Horses Eat Weird Stuff?

Today we have a special guest post by Katherine Blocksdorf, a speaker, writer, and — most importantly — horse lover.  Equines have been a part of Katherine’s entire life.  She grew up around horses, she has trained horses, rescued horses, shown horses, and more.  (I’m not jealous, you are!)  In short, Katherine is the perfect person to answer this thorny question: Why do horses eat weird things?  

arabian-horse-3684599_1920

You probably know that a horse’s natural diet is grass and other lush plants. We add hay, grain and other supplements because our pastures might not provide enough nutrition, or because our horse works very hard and needs extra rations for energy. But sometimes horses eat other things–things we wouldn’t expect them to. Here’s why.

 

Curiosity

If you’re standing beside your horse with an egg salad sandwich in your hand and your horse is used to getting treats, it may be curious about that thing you’re munching on. Especially if your food is salty, your horse might think your sandwich is pretty tasty. A bite or two of a sandwich, hot dog, burger, pizza or other ‘human’ food probably won’t hurt your horse. Just don’t go overboard. A horse’s digestive system is really only designed to digest grass and some plants, and you don’t want to cause an upset that could lead to colic. 

Foals are very curious and may try to taste many things as they explore their new world. As long as they are nursing from their mother and have lots of good grass and other proper horse food, this is natural and not harmful. Also, there are horses that stay curious throughout their lives, and like to have little tasters of whatever it can get its lips on. These are the ones that might be nippy too, so hand feeding treats might be a bad idea. 

 

Hunger

A hungry horse will eat almost anything to stay alive. They may eat tree leaves, twigs, bark, roots or any other vaguely edible plant material to keep from starving. They might chew their stall boards, any type of bedding, jute ropes or burlap bags, spoiled hay or grain. Not only will these things not provide good nutrition, they can also cause blockages and damage to the digestive system. 

 

Boredom

Horses spend about two-thirds of their time looking for food and grazing. But the way we keep horses can interfere with that natural pattern. You might have heard of ‘pica’. This is when a human or an animal develops the habit of eating or tasting something that has no nutritional value. People used to think that it was caused by a mineral imbalance or malnutrition. But, research suggests this is not the case. Boredom is likely to cause pica. So horses chew and eat the wood of their stalls, fences or trees in their pasture to satisfy their need to graze. They might lick rocks or concrete, or eat other strange things to satisfy their instinctive need to graze. They might chew other horses’ manes and tails. A horse that has lots of outdoor time to graze, or lots of small meals indoors in their stall is less likely to eat weird things. 

 

Coprophagy 

Coprophagy or manure eating definitely tops the list of ‘ewww’ things a horse could eat. But in foals, this might be perfectly normal, despite how distasteful it is to us. Horse nutritionists speculate that foals eat mature horses’ manure to help establish gut flora. Adult horses rarely eat manure and if they do, it could be because they are starving. Ensuring they have either good pasture or good quality hay will provide most horses with the nutrition and chewing time they need. 

***

Did you enjoy Katherine’s article, dear reader?  If so, maybe you’d like to leave a comment.  And if you can’t think of what to say, then use my question of the week: what is the weirdest thing that your pet has ever eaten?  These stories don’t have to be about horses; it could be about your dog, or cat, or whatever. 

As for me, my dog once ate some mole poison.  Don’t worry, she was perfectly fine (but my nerves weren’t!)  Anyway, feel free to leave your own story in the comments below.  

Next week, we will return to your regularly scheduled programming — articles by yours truly.  My next post will be another equine one, called “8 Secrets Only Horse People Know”.  Here’s a sneak-peak at one of the secrets: “In a pinch, a great spray-tan substitute is… dirt.”  

 

UPDATE: Here is the finished article, “8 Secrets Only Horse People Know”.  Enjoy!  

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/8-secrets-horse-people-know/

Precious Pets.

HorseAddict

This week the Lens-artists challenge is from Tina at Travels and Trifles. The challenge: Precious Pets.

CATS

We do not have a cat but we have had our daughter’s cat as a guest. Here is a photo of our daughter and her cat Sir Winston. dressed for a special occasion. He was a rescue who started life abandoned in a warehouse. But he would not hesitate to tell you he is descended from the regal cats of Ancient Egypt. Cats were worshipped as Gods then. Sir Winston thinks they still should be.

Sir Winston and his human .

DOGS

We do not have a dog at the moment but on September 14 we will be welcoming a new puppy into our home. She will be our fourth mini-Schnauzer. We had to say goodbye to our much loved Tia last spring when she became ill and surgery was difficult and…

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10 Memes Only Cat Lovers Will Understand

These truths we hold to be self-evident: 1. the Internet is full of cat memes.  2. Cat memes are funny.  3. Almost everyone loves cat memes.  But there are some kitty memes which only true cat people will understand.  Are you one of the privileged few?  Let’s find out!  

1. 

cat-box-meme-1.jpg

For those of you who don’t know, cats are obsessed with boxes.  It doesn’t matter what size — contact lens box, shoe box, or 6-foot moving box — if it’s a box, cats will sit in it.  You can look up images of “if I fits, I sits” to see what I mean.  

2. 

cat sitting on laptop meme

You probably know already that cats enjoy lying in sunbeams, but did you know that cats love laptops as well?  It’s true.  My cat, Queen Autumn the 1st, used to sleep on my laptop all the time.  But after I bought a sloped cooling pad, she finally stopped, because it’s too steep to lie on anymore.  Fellow cat lovers, rejoice!  There is actually a cure to this ancient enigma!  

3. 

01_FUNNY-CAT-MEME

This is called “the zoomies”, and it happens if your cat doesn’t get enough playtime.  Your little Fluffy is actually a hunter at heart, and her predatory instincts will spike at various times of the day.  If no one is available to play with, she will dash madly from room to room.  It’s pretty hilarious, if you ask me.  

4. 

cat in tree

Queen Autumn the 1st used to scale the Christmas tree every year.  She seemed to have only one goal in mind: hunt down and murder all the bird ornaments.  And unfortunately for me, she succeeded.  She chipped one and ripped the feathers off another!  
I eventually wised up and removed them, but that still wasn’t enough.  So I ran a model train around the base of the tree to scare her away.  That’s worked — so far, at least…

5. 

cat killed plant

No explanation is needed here. 

But perhaps you might like to know where I found this?  I discovered this photo in a hilarious post by Andrew Ziegler of Buzzfeed.  It’s a bit like this article; both of us are laughing at the weird, funny little habits cats have.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out:  

https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewziegler/things-nobody-tells-you-about-owning-a-cat

6. 

cat hair meme

Why are cats attracted to fresh laundry?  Well, remember how cats love sunbeams and laptops?  In truth, they like almost anything that is warm.  And whereas humans enjoy the smell of fresh laundry, cats prefer everything to smell like them.  Smell is how Fluffy marks her territory, and it’s a comforting scent to her.  So here’s the practical application of all this: keep laundry off the bed!  

7. 

business cat

Again, cats are hunters at heart.  

But can you imagine what it would be like if cats were businessmen?  They would constantly be sleeping on the job, sitting on report papers, and chasing laser pointers.  It would be mayhem!  Our economy would collapse!  It would be hilarious!  

8. 

I don't always cat meme

What does it mean when your cat brings you dead prey?  This is a debate in the cat-loving community.  Some believe it is an insult, and that the cat is essentially thinking: “Since you’re so helpless, I guess I’ll have to feed you.”  

But there’s another theory.  It could be that Fluffy is giving you her prey as a gift, out of her love for you.  Personally, I think this theory holds a lot of weight because cats love food.  Giving it up is a big sacrifice for them.  So bon appetit!  

9. 

cat lick meme

Cats will spend hours licking themselves clean.  That means they lick everything, and I mean everything.  I always feel so embarrassed when Autumn decides to stick up her leg and clean that spot in front of guests…

10. 

cat knocking things over funny

And there we have it: 10 memes that only true cat people will get.  How many of these did you understand?  Have you seen any of these behaviors in your own cat?  Which one was the funniest?  Leave a comment and let me know!  

Hopefully this post made you laugh, because I sure laughed while writing it!  

Next week’s post will be less funny and more enriching.  It will be a guest post by writer and horse expert Katherine Blocksdorf.  Katherine has kindly agreed to share with us some of her expertise on equine dietary issues.  If you have horses in your life (or if you know someone who does), then you won’t want to miss this!  

Stay fuzzy, my friends!  

The Best Book Ever Is ‘Dream of Night’

Dream of Night (3)

As someone who reads far too many books, it’s difficult for me to chose my favorite — but this might be the one.  I first read Dream of Night by Heather Henson about 8 years ago, and this month I decided to re-read it.  As I finished the last page and closed the book, I grinned from ear to ear.  It was just as amazing as I remembered!  

The idea behind the story is this: a broken girl and a broken horse escape from their abusive situations and end up on a peaceful farm in Kentucky.  But that doesn’t mean they’re free.  Both are still chained to their pasts; both are furious at the world and hold everyone at arm’s length.  Heather Henson eloquently compares it to scar tissue; a tough, ugly exterior, “covering the hurt place”.  (page 109)

The girl’s name is Shiloh, and I was immediately fascinated by her.  Like Shiloh, (and like most teenagers) I passed through an angry phase.  I thought my life was terrible and no one understood me.  Now I realize that there is a world of difference between the traumas of Shiloh’s abusive past and my tranquil suburban upbringing — but our mindsets were the same.  “Never let anyone in.  Never show you care.  Never be weak.”  

After Shiloh arrives on the farm, she meets the other main character: a horse named Dream of Night.  Once an injury derailed his racing career, this proud Thoroughbred falls into the hands of a man who abuses and neglects him.  The horrors he endured from that man changed Dream of Night into Nightmare.  He actually tries to kill anyone who dares approach.  

Fortunately, both the horse and the girl are lifted out of their terrible situations and sent to a Kentucky farm for recovery.  There, they both encounter Jessalynn DiLima, the owner of the farm.  Ironically, the woman who is supposed to help them heal is carrying her own, mysterious hurt…  

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it is so powerful and beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes.  

If you love horses, or character development, or stories of hope and healing — or all 3 — then this book is for you!  

Well, that’s all I have time for this week, dear readers.  So until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

Cutest Animal Odd Couples from the Dodo

Friendship can come in all shapes and sizes.  Your best friend might just be someone who is your polar opposite (I know mine is).  These animals prove that anyone can be a good friend, even someone you would never expect.  For example… 

A Dog and a Cat. 

tuco and figgy

Dogs and cats hate each other, right?  Well, not these 2!  Tuco is the dog, and Figgy is the cat.  A human found Figgy on the streets when she was only 5 weeks old.  The human brought Figgy home and cared for her. 

But there was just one problem: the human already had a dog!  So the owner took steps to carefully introduced them to each other.  She put them both in crates and made them stare at each other for a long time.  Then over the course of 2 weeks, the owner moved the carriers gradually closer and closer; until finally they started to like each other.  It was the start of a solid friendship. 

Yes, these animals are good friends, despite being nothing alike!  As a typical dog, Tuco is a big softie, needy yet loving.  Figgy is more of a gangster-type; after all, he did come from the streets!  

A Dog and a Raccoon.

june raccoon and waffles dog
https://www.instagram.com/juneandwaffles/

The raccoon in the photo is named June, and the dog is Waffles.  Their story begins in a backyard in Arkansas.  A mother raccoon chose an oak tree in that backyard as the perfect spot for a maternal nest.  Then somehow, one of the babies (June) ended up on the ground.  

The humans who owned the backyard left her alone at first, hoping that June’s mother would come to save her.  But for some reason, she didn’t.  A cold night was coming on, so at 2 days old, June was adopted and raised by humans. 

Later on, once June was grown up, the humans figured that she needed a friend.  They adopted Waffles.  The 2 animals met in the backyard; they sniffed each other, and it was love at first sight.  Ever since, Waffles has acted as June’s bodyguard.  Waffles follows June wherever she goes.  Naturally, June the raccoon gets into all sorts of trouble.  But when she does decide to finally settle down, responsible Waffles is right there to snuggle up with her.  But you already know this.  One look at that photo and it’s obvious they are quite the cute odd couple.  

A Cat and a Horse.  

champy and morris
https://www.instagram.com/champy_and_morris/

Say hello to Champy the horse and Morris the cat!  Morris was born in a shelter.  The poor thing had to live in a cage for months. 

Fortunately, a human adopted Morris.  She brought him home and let him outside for the first time.  As Morris explored the porch, Champy kept on hanging around; he insisted on befriending the prickly cat.  Then, a few days later, Morris leapt up and landed on Champy’s back!  This gets more incredible when another factor is added: Morris was the first to ever ride Champy. 

From there on out, a beautiful friendship bloomed.  The 2 groom each other, and Champy is very gentle with Morris.  Champy is very smitten with Morris.  In fact, Champy will often forgo the company of other horses just to be with Morris.  

A Human and a Chipmunk.  

van gogh the chipmunk

The chipmunk’s name is Van Gogh, or VG, for short.  Ally named him that because of the chunk missing from his ear.  Ally Calmusky is the human in this picture.  Ally’s mom owned a backyard that acts sort of like a wildlife refuge.  Ally often went there to feed lots of different animals, but VG stood out because of how friendly he was.  He would come up close to Ally to eat the peanuts she provided.  Eventually, he started climbing up onto her hand. 

Although technically still a wild chipmunk, VG was very tame.  When Ally called his name, he always ran over.  He was completely comfortable climbing up her, or letting her pet him.  VG was even jealous of his precious human.  If other chipmunks dared to approach Ally, VG chased them off!  

But one day, tragedy struck.  VG went missing!  No matter how many times Ally called him, he never appeared.  A month passed, and still no sign of him. 

Then he came back!  Ally says that it was one of the happiest days of her life.  Ally may never know why VG left, but now he’s back to stay.  If you want to see more of this adorable duo, check out their Instagram.  

https://www.instagram.com/vangoghthechippy/

So which odd couple is your favorite?  Which one is the cutest?  Leave a comment and let me know!  My personal favorite is Ally and VG.  Chipmunks are one of my favorite animals, but unlike cats and dogs, they are very skittish and almost impossible to tame.  

Anyway, this post took me a long time to write, so I hope you enjoyed it!  And as always: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

Sources

I Rescued a Butterfly!

butterfly rescue
The Black Swallowtail I Saved

Last Wednesday, I was sitting inside my home, petting my cat and looking out on my deck.  A black butterfly floated by, but I thought nothing of it.  Just then, something happened.  A stray gust of wind must have caught the butterfly wrong, because he suddenly back-flipped through the air and landed on his back!  Lying on the deck’s boards, his legs kicked helplessly in the air.  

I immediately yanked the door open and stepped outside.  I thought: “Don’t worry, little guy!  I’ll save you!”  I extended my finger to him and his little legs grabbed on.  

I knew that butterflies get their nutrients from mud, and the soil in one of the flower pots on the deck was saturated.  So I quickly lowered my hand down to the rim of the pot.  The butterfly crawled off.  

As he just sat there, opening and closing his wings, I hovered nervously nearby.  Was he alright?  Was he hurt?  If he could fly, why didn’t he?  

I remember when I was a kid, I found a butterfly in my backyard with half of a wing missing.  (Ironically, she was also a black butterfly.)  I took her in and cared for her as a pet.  Thinking back, I recall that her favorite food was blueberry yogurt.  

With vague plans of feeding this butterfly swirling in my mind, I picked him up again.  I walked down the deck steps to the ground.  Since the little fellow seemed perfectly content to perch on my hand, I paused to snap a few photos.  

Now he started to move.  He crawled up my hand, up my arm, and across my back.  I laughed.  What did he think he was doing, exploring new lands for Spain?  

Then he flew up into the air.  I smiled; he apparently wasn’t hurt at all!  Perhaps the fall onto his back had stunned him, but that was it.  

The pretty thing flew up to the deck again, landing on the wire railing.  I rushed up there, thinking: That would make a lovely photo!  I managed to get a few more nice pictures, including the one at the top of this post — then he flew off into the trees.  He was gone.  

This incident may seem like a small thing to some people, but little things mean everything, don’t they?  And besides, what’s better than saving a life?  For an animal lover like me, it was the Best.  Day.  Ever!  

Stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

You Might Also Like…

I stayed up all night to save the life of an adorable, baby chipmunk.  And it worked!  Read the full story here: 

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/baby-chipmunk-saved/

7 Myths about Horses

purple-1158017_1920

While almost no one believes in unicorns, a surprising number of people hold other wrong ideas about horses.  These old wives tales tell us things like horses only sleep standing up.  But today we will set the record straight.  Read until the end to see how many of these you already knew!  

1. Riding is Not a Sport.  

Granted, horseback riding might not be as strenuous as sprinting the 500-meter, but it is still a sport.  Back when I was taking riding lessons, I was in the best shape of my life!  When you are riding a horse, you are constantly working on your balance, moving your hands, tapping with your legs, etc.  If your instructor asks you to hold a 2-point position, or post the trot, then you are in for a good workout.  And heaven forbid your teacher decides it’s time for some no-stirrup work!  Your legs will be sore for days!  

Things only get more intense once you’re on the ground.  You’ll have to heft around a 25 to 40 pound Western saddle.  You will support part of a horse’s 1200 pound weight as you clean out his feet.  And perhaps most impressively, you’ll need to dead-lift hay bales that weigh between 50 to 100 pounds!  

Yes, there can be no question about it — horseback riding is a sport.  

 

2. Horses Only Sleep Standing Up.  

This myth is partially true.  Horses do indeed sleep upright most of the time.  They have a special “stay apparatus” where their knee tendons and ligaments lock up; this way, they can relax their muscles completely and not fall down.  Horses need this ability in the wild, where they must be ready to flee from predators at any second.  

But horses still need some REM sleep, and this can only be attained by lying down.  While experts disagree about exactly how much REM sleep equines need, it is safe to say that if you never catch your horse lying down, then you might have a problem.  

 

3. Petting a Horse’s Muzzle Shows Love.  

Did you know that horses don’t like being petted on the nose?  Indeed, contrary to what you may have seen on book covers and movie posters, most horses don’t like humans touching their muzzles.  The muzzle/nose is a delicate sensory organ, nearly akin to human eyes, so don’t touch!  Instead, a pat on the neck or a rub on the forehead is much more enjoyable for equines.  

 

4. Horses are Stupid.  

A friend of mine used to think of horses as “land fish”, but that was before he met me, of course!  I quickly corrected this misconception.  Understandably, if you only ever saw horses as they were just standing around in a pasture, then you would probably think of them as not smart.  You might think of them as goldfish — simple-minded enough to contently swim around the same tank for weeks on end.  

Now, I don’t know a lot about fish, but horses are certainly more intelligent than that.  If you have ever watched an Olympian ride a dressage horse, then you know this is true.  Horses can be taught to perform hundreds of movements that they would never do in the wild.  And it takes no training for a horse to open his stall door!  Furthermore, a study in Norway showed that horses can even ask for things.  Scientists put up 3 signs, and each sign represented a different choice for the horse: should his blanket be put on, removed, or should things stay the way they were?  And after only 11 days, the horses knew what to do!  If it was hot out, they wanted the blanket removed; if it was cold, they wanted the reverse.  Isn’t that amazing?!  

Read the full story here: https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/horses-might-be-smarter-than-you-think/

 

5. Horses Can’t See Color.  

Of course, it is difficult to tell exactly what animals see, since they can’t tell us.  (So I may have to modify this statement slightly in the future.)  But for now, science tells us that horses can indeed see colors — just not as many as we do.  Horses can see 2 of the 3 colors that humans can: green and blue.  Equines cannot see red.  When confronted with something red, the horse’s mind will substitute a shade of green instead, just like a red-green colorblind human would.  So horses seeing in hues of grey is a myth.  

 

6. Horses Come When Called.  

Horses aren’t big dogs.  They aren’t as desperate as dogs to please humans.  You, as the horse’s owner, are an important part of their world, but you aren’t their whole world.  Horses are more like cats than dogs.  They may love you a lot, but their way of showing it will be subtle.  

So don’t expect your horse to come galloping over the instant you call.  I’ve never met a horse who came when he was called; in fact, many ran away when I approached.  

Now, you can train a horse to come when you call him, but it’s not a built-in behavior with equines.  

 

7. White Hooves are Weak.  

This myth started hundreds of years ago, before modern science existed.  Horsemen back in the day thought that white hooves were weaker because of the lighter color.  After all, the thinner the material, the more light gets through, and the brighter the color.  But now we have X-rays, and scientists have learned that hooves are all made up of the same materials, regardless of their color.  The American Farrier Journal confirms this.
(https://bit.ly/30MGrPF)

 

So how many of these did you already know?  Did any of these surprise you?  Leave a comment and let me know!  

If you are interested in learning more about horses, I recommend checking out https://horseaddict.net/.  This blog is run by Anne Leueen — horse expert, word smith, and my friend.  She updates her site multiple times a week with funny, inspirational or informative posts.  Even if you don’t particularly care for horses, you still will probably love her site, so go check it out!  

And until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

11 Hilarious Dog Shaming Photos

When I was growing up, my family owned a dog.  Her name was Dyna, and she was a black Labrador/Chow Chow mix.  I loved Dyna!  She was the ultimate guard dog, and I always felt safe when she was around.  We enjoyed going on thousands of fun walks together, exploring the world around my home.  Plus, she was very loving.  

She only had one real flaw: she loved to chew everything.  Plastic toys?  Yup.  Wooden doors?  Yummy!  Wooden fences?  For breakfast.  She even tried her paw at metal a few times.  

We couldn’t seem to break her of this habit.  Fortunately, she was never hurt in her culinary adventures, and it became more of a nuisance than anything else.  

Dog-shaming didn’t exist back then, but if it had, we would have had plenty of material!  

Dog-shaming is the Internet trend started by Pascale Lemire in 2012, and it immediately went viral.  Humans everywhere were posting photos of their dogs with paper cards around their necks denouncing their latest bad behavior, often with the destroyed item in frame.  It was a way to vent, probably, but it morphed into something else — something funnier.  

Personally, I find it hilarious the crazy antics dogs do!  So I decided to collect some of the funniest photos from Pascale’s site, dogshaming.com. 

I hope you enjoy!  

1. Then the Police Came…

dog shaming cops

These owners left their black Labrador home alone to see what he would do.  They were shocked when he opened the garage door and triggered the alarm!  “Then the police came…”  What a Christmas gift!  

But let’s try and see things from the dog’s perspective: They left him home.  Alone.  At Christmas.  

Naturally, the pup thought he was starring in the Home Alone remake!  

2. Mommy, Look What I Did!  

dog shaming destruction

Once upon a time, there was a man, his wife, and their dog.  The man left for work earlier than normal, so his wife was still asleep.  Little did she know what was occurring downstairs… 

The dog felt lonely, so she “ate the couch in order to spend more time with mom this morning before she left for work…[!]”  

This little pup doesn’t seem ashamed at all.  If anything, she looks proud of what she did!  

3. Bake Fail

dog shaming pancakes

Aggie the dog got hungry when her humans slept in, so she destroyed a flour sack.  Logic!  

On a side note, this reminds me of the infamous Malt-O-Meal incident of 2017…  

4. I’m Sure We’ve All Done This 

dog shaming digger

The guilty party’s name is Simone.  She dug up Grandma’s flower bed, then she decided to make some improvements on the curb appeal!  

5. Would You Like Coffee?  Juice?  Punch?  

dog shaming punch

“This morning I woke up my mom by jumping onto the bed and punching her in the face.”  

No explanation is given.  Nor is one needed.  

6. The Case of the Killer Pillow

dog shaming pillow

The paper reads: “The pillow made an attempt on my life.  I fought back.”  

Dogshaming.com adds: “No witnesses would testify against this.”  

‘Nuff said!  

7. Why Are We Out of Eggs?  Again?  

dog shaming eggs

While his humans were out shopping, this dog stole 6 eggs.  He ate 4 and “buried” 2 more in the couch for midnight snacks.  

Here is his shameful confession: “While my family was shopping (and ironically considering one of those fancy “treat puzzles” for me) … I was making up my own games and having yummy treats anyways!”  

8. Always Look on the Bright Side!  

dog shaming carrots

Alice the dog likes veggies.  A lot.  Her owners try to keep her from eating too many of them, “but sometimes when no one is paying attention…” 

She eats a garden’s worth of carrots.  Here is her confession in her own words: “Although my penalty is to join Carrot Eaters Anonymous, my vision has significantly improved.”  

9. Bon appétit!  

dog shaming eating
via @_crmzchan_ from Twitter

This dog ate a whole tray of pigs in blankets.  Then he had some paper for dessert!  

(For those of you who don’t know, “pigs in a blanket” is a food that consists of a sausage or a hot dog wrapped in either a croissant-style pastry or bacon.)  

10. Ironically Ironic

dog shaming chew

After the human owners bought the Dog-Shaming book by Pascale, they placed it on the coffee table and went to work.  Then Bentley the dog ate it.  Later, the owners emailed a photo of the destruction to dogshaming.com.  The irony has layers!

But at least the owners can laugh about it.  “Can’t even be mad about it”, they chuckle.    

11. Mistakes Were Made.  

dog shaming hilarious

The owners went to lunch.  They came back to this.  

I don’t know what the owners thought, but this is hilarious to me!  Definitely my favorite!  

Which one do you like best, dear reader?  Leave a comment and let your opinion be known!  

Before I close, I have to give a big “thank you” to Pascale Lemire and dogshaming.com for sharing these hilarious photos with the world.  For more laughs like these, check out the original site.  

(https://www.dogshaming.com/)  

Next week we will bust common myths about horses.  For example, did you know that horses don’t like being petted on the muzzle?  Indeed, contrary to what you may have seen on book covers and movie posters, most horses don’t like humans touching their muzzles.  It’s a delicate sensory organ, nearly akin to human eyes, so don’t touch!  A pat on the neck or a rub on the forehead is much more enjoyable for equines.  

For more interesting horse facts, tune in next time!  But until then: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

How to Stop Your Cat from Waking You Up

cat-2560168_1920

Cats sleep more than sloths.  So why do they tear around the house at 3 A.M. meowing their heads off?!  First you hear the thumps of running paws, then the bangs as your chubby kitty jumps off of every available horizontal surface, accompanied by ear-piercing meows, and finally (horror of horrors) the crash of something valuable hitting the floor.

Cats seem like such sleepy animals, so why do they act this way?  And is there anything you, as their harried owner, can do to get a good night’s sleep?  

Yes, there is.  But first, the answer as to why cats behave like this.  

No matter how cute and sleepy Fluffy may appear in the daytime, at night she will turn into a speed demon!  That is to say, even the most calm, domesticated cat still has the instincts of her wild ancestors coursing through her veins.  Cats were made to be nocturnal hunters.  As cat expert Jackson Galaxy explains, every day they have to “hunt, catch, and kill” prey.  

However, indoor cats have no prey to hunt, so their predatory instincts may appear in other, unpleasant behaviors, such as attacking other cats or even humans.  In reality, meowing, running, and waking you up is the most benign way Fluffy can react to her instincts.  

But don’t worry, you do not have to live with this.  When you come home from work or school, here’s what you should do: 

1. Start with Stroking.  When you get home, give Fluffy attention by petting and talking to her.  Chances are, she’s been left home alone all day, and she’s feeling a little lonely.  So give her some love.  This is necessary because one of the reasons that cats wake their owners up at night is to get attention.  Naturally, attention during the daytime lessens that need.  

2. Next, Exercising.  This second step is critical.  If you complete all of the other steps but ignore this one, it won’t work.  Playing with your kitty is the perfect way to soothe her hunting instincts.  Furthermore, it’s a great way to bond with your cat, and (quite frankly) it’s fun.  For me, it’s hilarious to see my dignified, queen-like kitty just go crazy over a piece of string.  

Now, there are dozens of ways you can play with your cat, and I’ve written a 3 part series thoroughly covering them all.  If you are interested in reading it, just search “cat playtime” on my site.  But here’s the basic idea: playtime should happen every day for 20 minutes. 

“But what if Fluffy doesn’t want to play?” you might ask.  Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: the key to getting Fluffy engaged is to be engaged yourself.  Fluffy won’t care if you don’t.  So get up off of that couch and run around a little.  Try various toys, and make each one dart across the floor like a scared prey animal.  Fluffy will love this!  

(And of course, if you’re exhausted and don’t feel like playing much, feel free to use some catnip.)  

3. Feeding Time Follow-Up.  After playtime, you should feed your cat immediately.  It doesn’t really matter if you use canned meat or fresh, just so long as it is food meant for feline consumption.  The point of this is to mimic how cats behave in the wild.  Remember our mantra: “hunt, catch, kill”?  Well, we should add another word to it — eat; because, of course, after a cat kills its dinner it’s time to feast!  

4. In Bed, Ignore the Interruptions.  So you’ve given your cat attention, exercise, and a meal — now it’s time to go to bed.  Once you are in bed, the hardest step of all begins.  You must ignore everything your cat does.  Jumping up on your stomach?  Ignore it.  Meowing in your face for 30 minutes?  Ignore it.  If you give up and get up to pet Fluffy, or feed her, or even yell at her, you’re giving Fluffy exactly what she wants: attention.  Doing so will only encourage her to repeat her behavior in the future.  So stay strong and stay in bed.  It may take a week or two, but eventually Fluffy will give up; she will stop annoying you at night.  

You have broken the cycle.  The years of peaceful sleep are spreading out in front of you.  Congratulations! 

And now for the question of the week: have you ever owned a pet who had an annoying habit?  What did you do to stop it?  (Or was it as unavoidable as the Ice Age?  Did it cause you to live a life of quiet, yet palpable, despair?!)  But joking aside, I would love to hear from you.  Let’s chat in the comments!  

So until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

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