Have y’all missed me? Well, I’m back again.
Did you watch the races at Belmont Park last weekend? Wow! Did American Pharoah show them who’s boss or what? I don’t want to brag, but I did pick him to win the Kentucky Derby and kept my hooves crossed in the Preakness when his jockey sent him to the front; although, thinking back, it was the best thing to do: that way you don’t get mud slung in your face. Puah! Who want’s mud slung in their face? I don’t. I mean, I love a good roll in the mud, specially when the mosquitoes are out in force, but to have it slung in your face. Not me! I’d quit right then and there.
Must admit I was really nervous on Belmont Stakes day. I so wanted American Pharoah to win (BTW, Ziggy thinks he’s really cute. Of course, she goes for bays being a bay herself) Again, I held my breath when he was sent to the front. Too soon, I thought. But then I really started to watch him and I could see he was just coasting along. Frosted made a valiant run at him, but American Pharoah had too much fuel left in his tank. After he crossed the finish line, I ran around and around and around, kicking up my heels and tossing my head: a Triple Crown winner at last! So reminded me of my hero, Secretariat. OK, so he didn’t win by 32 lengths, and it is only the 6th fastest Belmont, but, nowadays, trainers are more concerned with ending up with a healthy horse at the end of a race than with a new track or stakes record. And I applaud that. There’s no use spending a horse or risking an injury just for a record.
On a side note, did you watch the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Wow! Those are some brave horses. I can’t image myself jumping over all those huge obstacles, going up hill and down hill and through water. . . the winning horse was Fischerrocana, a smallish mare from Germany who reminds me of Touch of Class, winner the individual gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics for the USA. Both mares may be small in stature, but big of heart.
Winter is back again in our little pasture in South Texas and am I glad I live in South Texas and not up north where snow blankets the ground: I had enough of that when I lived in North Carolina! The grass is a little sparse, but our mistress has provided us with plenty of hay. She is also feeding us a flake of alfalfa every day, on top of our regular feed. and, every once in a while a couple of those yummy apple-flavored treats.
About a couple of months ago we had a new addition to our little pasture family. Her name is Miss Isabel and she is a Brangus heifer. She’s kinda cute and is a good companion for Bobby, the Brayford calf who now follows her around like a little lost puppy dog.
Sorta sad Christmas season is over and our mistress has taken down all the decorations. Ziggy and I both got to wear our Santa hats and got special treats Christmas day. Barnaby, the Boer goat, got miffed because he didn’t get to wear a Santa hat, although he, Nikki and Mikey were happy to get their special Christmas treats. Of course, I know Christmas isn’t all about Santa hats and special treats, but the coming of the Christ child. You thought we animals don’t know about the Christ child? Hey, where did Mary place her new born baby? Well, it wasn’t a fancy crib, and a manger isn’t found inside a house. You humans think a stable is a terrible place for a baby, but the hay was dry and sweet-smelling, and the heat from the animals’ bodies kept the place warm. Sp, believe it or not, we played as much a role in the coming of the Christ child as you humans did.
Today humans honor their veterans, the living and the dead; however, few remember to honor those who also served and serve, those four-legged veterans, many of whom gave their lives defending their human counterparts.
Everyone knows, or should know, that dogs are an integral part of today’s military, but few know that horses are an equally important part of today’s armed forces. Many of you might think that the military stopped using horses with the appearance of mechanized vehicles. Yet, there are still places in the world where our military serve and the terrain is not conducive to the use of tanks or even ATVs. Take Afghanistan, for instance: those narrow mountain paths can only be tackled on the back of a horse and, even though local horses were used, the soldiers needed to have first hand knowledge about them, skills that were taught at Fort Bragg where soldiers learned not only how to saddle and ride a horse, but also about herd management and common equine health issues. Unfortunately, the stables were closed due to budget cuts.
US Special Forces – Afghanistan 2001
Afghanistan Horse Soldier NYC
President Obama may have declared that “Horses and bayonets are obsolete”, but they both have a purpose in the current military. In an ever-changing world, horses till serve and will continue to serve with honor and distinction.