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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine • Since 1993
Idaho • Montana • Nevada • Oregon • Utah • Washington • Wyoming

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1595 N First St

Hamilton, MT 59840

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Hamilton MT 59840

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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine
Distributed throughout the Greater Rockies Since 1993

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Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

November 2010 Issue  

 

     The mornings have been frosty, and the finches have found our sunflowers. They are a delight to watch on one multi-headed volunteer which grew in the lawn not far from the kitchen window. They shell the seeds and scatter the shards beneath the yellowing stalk.

     Although it’s chilly, I am resisting wearing pac boots to the barn, preferring my lightweight summer footwear — the worn-out pair of tennis shoes (now known in the common vernacular as athletic shoes). These are relics with manure so thoroughly infused into the soles and seams, they could never be used for anything else again. They are not allowed further into the house than the rug in the mud room.

     We finally timed it right and installed the water tank heaters on a sunny day… unlike most years when the icy wind bites fingers, the sky spits snow and it is likely to be dark. Yes, we got to check off another fall chore! And, as readers well know, I’ve got more chores than I have time for!

     When feeding the critters, I first arrange all the hay in separate piles —which I space well apart —before I let our old black Morgan mare, Raven, out of her pen. She always stops halfway through her gate because she knows I’ve taken to keeping a pocketful of pellets in my coat or jeans to give the critters a treat.

     She’s really quite cute — irresistible, really — cocking her head sideways, aiming her nose in the direction of the pocket with the treats. Her eyes soften… she’s not going to budge until she gets one… but she’s not pushy and she’s happy with a single pellet. Or a couple of small ones.

     She’s the boss mare, so do you think she heads to the closest pile of hay? No! She goes directly to the one being eaten by the #2 horse and asserts her authority. Raven doesn’t mess around when food is involved; her ears go back and everyone better get out of the way!

     The pocketful of treats has proven a good remedy for Raven, who is one of those “you’ll never catch me” types. She’s so conflicted when I stand in the pasture, a halter over my shoulder, pellets in my pocket. I know she’s thinking, “Halter or treat? Halter or treat?”

     What a decision for the old girl to have to make! She always opts for the treat.

     Treats save me aggravation; I’m too old for that! If I don’t have pellets, I stuff a handful of oats in my pocket, which the critters find equally rewarding. Giving them treats is the equivalent of making a batch of cookies for someone you love! It’s such an easy way to get a positive response.

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     With the economy in its current downturn-recession-crisis, here at RMR we have noticed that people are tenaciously hanging on to their horses, their homes, and their small businesses. They are sounding determined and upbeat!

     Many of our advertisers report that their customers are seeking quality merchandise — that those customers are willing to pay the price for something that is well-built and will last a long time. They don’t want to replace it next year; they want good, old-fashioned quality.

     And so, our advertisers are providing their customers with goods of value. As you read through the items offered in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, starting on page 21, please consider making a purchase this year for the people in your life who deserve treats!

 

Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine • Montana Owned & Operated 
PO Box 995 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • 888-747-1000  •  406-363-4085 • info@rockymountainrider.com