Bear Springs for Spa Time
Well, actually I sprang for some spa time for Bear this week.
As you know it’s been a long, cold winter. In addition to the new work ethic which is testing our physical resources differently, our winter-weary muscles have been expanding and contracting like cracks in the sidewalk to combat the bitter cold. Time for an early spring tune-up.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll recall that last year Bear was introduced to chiropractic care. This time I decided to try something different and enlisted the services of a highly recommended registered equine massage therapist (REMT).
There were no obvious physical maladies needing to be addressed, but why wait until there’s a problem? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?
So, this week I arranged for a spa day for Bear.
Oh yeah, that feels good …
While he stood quietly, the REMT commented on how trusting and relaxed Bear is while being poked and prodded and nudged. What can I say? He’s always loved attention.
First, the REMT worked along the right side of Bear’s body and then the left. It was fun to observe my boy’s obvious pleasure at having his muscles gently massaged. For a full 45 minutes or so Bear languished in his very own la-la land.
Right there. Right … there. Ya …
The bottom line is that Bear’s in pretty decent shape for a horse his age. He’s nice and free through the shoulders (blocked shoulders are a common problem) with only a little tightness through the sacrum. This, the REMT noted, was to be expected given the icy paddock conditions since the beginning of January.
When I returned Bear, all warm and snuggly in his cool-weather jammies, to his stall he was feeling no pain, which was just as well because a couple of hours later the vet arrived to administer Bear’s first intra-nasal Strangles vaccine. Naturally my happy boy took this in stride, not seeming to object too much to a straw-sized tube being ever-so-briefly wedged up his nose to deposit the vaccine. Perhaps not the most comfortable moment in a spa day, but there you go.
His discomfort, whatever it might have been, was soon forgotten and easily remedied with a generous helping of carrots and time in the paddock with his friend Konnor. Together they picked at hay and basked in the early spring sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.
And, glad to have given him this happy time, I left him in peace.
Zu Zu Says “Bye, Bye!”
Bye, bye, Zu Zu …
Last week it was announced in the barn that Zu Zu, Bear’s girl friend since January 1, is leaving for other muddy pastures this weekend.
It was a short, but happy, courtship for Mr. Bear and little Miss Zu. The rising four-year-old Canadian mare (some said Mr. Bear, at age 12, had robbed the cradle) offered a ray of sunshine for the gentle Hanoverian gelding. Through the frigid and bleak mid-winter Miss Zu helped her handsome paddock mate feel welcome in his new digs. Together they trudged through mountains of snow and spent hours digging in three-feet drifts scavenging for patches of green.
Zu Zu called the shots. Bear followed her everywhere. Naturally, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with his alter ego, Shakespeare, a poet out standing in his field, penning his Sonnet XXV especially for her.
It’s a sad parting of the ways. Zu Zu, with her rambunctious nature and hearty appetite, will be missed.
Still, Bear’s response to the separation has been eased by the fact that he has made new friends of the male persuasion ~ Dream and Konnor ~ and together they hang out happily in what I like to refer to as the “Gentleman’s Club,” as they’re all so polite and well-mannered.
Bear and Zu Zu enjoyed a quality friendship for a couple of months. Some human relationships should last so long and be so happy. 😉
We’ll miss you, Zu Zu.
“Neigh!” quoth he …
Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.
Ever wondered about the origins of the term “horsepower?”
A search of the Internet brought this definition, which will appeal to all you beer drinkers and draft horse lovers out there. Maybe a few car enthusiasts too. 😉
Horsepower is the unit of power in the English system of measurement. The term horsepower was coined by James Watt (1736-1819), the Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer renowned for his improvements of the steam engine.
One horsepower (hp) is equivalent to 0.7457 kW in standard SI units. A healthy human can sustain about 0.1 horsepower, a car can generate several hundred horsepower, while a steam turbine in an electric power plant can produce more than 1.5 million horsepower.
Horsepower-hour is a unit of energy or work equal to the work done by the applied power of one horsepower over the period of one hour. The corresponding standard SI unit of energy is the joule. One joule = 3.73·10-7horsepower-hour.
The term horsepower was coined by James Watt (1736-1819), the Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer renowned for his improvements of the steam engine. In the early 1780s, Watt and his partner Matthew Boulton set out to sell their steam engines to the breweries of London, calculating that they would be likely customers because brewing was such an energy-intensive process. In order to convince the breweries of the advantages of the steam engine, Watt needed a method to compare their capabilities relative to horses, the power source they were seeking to replace. The typical brewery horse, attached to a mill that ground the mash for making beer, walked in an endless circle with a 24-foot diameter, pulled with a force of 180 pounds, and traveled at a speed of 180.96 feet per minute. Watt multiplied the speed times the force and came up with 32,580 ft-lbs/minute. That was rounded off to 33,000 ft-lbs/minute, the figure used today.
A healthy human can sustain about 0.1 horsepower, a car can generate several hundred horsepower, while a steam turbine in an electric power plant can produce more than 1.5 million horsepower.
Source: Cutler J. Cleveland, The Encyclopedia of Earth … www.eoearth.org
Direct from Poet’s Paddock …
by Shakespeare “The Equine”
Spring is here;
Brings with it change.
My life and habits
With paddocks closed
Alas, to dry,
Amuse myself in
Stall, must I
With dreams of fresh
Green grass to eat.
I count the days with
On warmer days
Bid rugs farewell
And feel sun on
My back a spell.
With joy I revel
In its beams,
As through the window
Pane it streams
Upon my shiny
New spring coat.
Handsome and dark,
But I won’t gloat.
And birds, they sing
Their song so sweet.
“Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Chirp!
Tweet! Chirp! Tweet! Tweet!”
While buds appear
And set to bloom,
Adorning our great
Yes, I love spring
A time of joy.
Reminds me I’m
A lucky boy.
The change in the format of these posts is easily explained. It’s time to do things differently. Bear and I are experiencing such a profound shift on so many levels with our new coach in our new environs it’s a challenge to write about it at any depth. So, instead I’ve decided to have a little fun with the blog format, sharing snippets of our lives rather than delving too deeply into the inner journey. To everything there is a season and a time to change.
This seems to want to be a newsletter. This appeals to me well enough as writing and producing them my forté for a long time as a commercial writer. The format is looser and more dynamic. Should I change the theme to accommodate this style more readily? I don’t know yet. We’ll see where it leads.
I hope you enjoy it. Of course, your constructive feedback is more than welcome.
Nurture what you love …
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014