Work Horses and Biting Flies!
July 14, 2014, 11:03 pm
Filed under: July 2014 | Tags: , , , ,

Knight and Hoss ... "Chillin"

Knight and Hoss … “Chillin”

July 14, 2013

My horses are lucky enough to have me for an owner. They work hard when I ask them to do so, but summer is rough on horses. I try to work early in the morning and then again in the cool of evening. They spend the mid day in the dark, cool barn, away from the biting flies… especially those awful greenheads.

All three of my boys are turned out at night to graze, roll and rest. First thing in the morning they are brought into the barn, given breakfast and allowed to stay in the cool barn for the day. They even have their own fans to cool them off. Yes, I spoil them 😮

When we work, the horses wear fly nets. The nets are made from nylon and have tassels hanging down that pester the pestering flies. It seems like the right thing to do! I also spray the horses with homemade fly spray made from household ingredients (10% Dawn dishwashing soap, 10% Listerene mouthwash, 40% Pinesol cleaning soap and 40% water). It works as well as any poison does, and makes me feel better about using it.

When we have to be out mid-day, I spray them often, rest when needed and offer water from a bucket when we stop. Some days they drink pretty good, other days, they just play in it. The flies bite me as well, but I can at least swat at the offending pests.

I think they forgive me, at least they always like for me to touch them. I am quiet, kind and steady. I expect that they do their job. I don’t tolerate monkey business, but I correct them mostly with my voice or a quick swat on the butt. They want to please me, so they straighten right out and behave. We have a great relationship.

The flies will be gone soon. They fade with summer. In the meantime we make the suffering as tolerable as possible and we take breaks from the hottest part of the day, when we can. I don’t have all the answers for how to cope with life’s curves, but when it bites you in the ass… my solution is to bite back!

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Your horses are so beautiful! I ride a 1/2 Percheron 1/2 Thoroughbred mare. Very challenging but very sweet!
If only the majority of the Amish treated their horses this well. I always feel so bad when I see them out on the roads with the flies just swarming them during the hottest part of the day. I don’t understand why they don’t use fly masks.

Comment by Jacklyn

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