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Copyright 2012 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

 

December 2012 issue

 

     I was awakened by a sharp thump! thump! thump! coming from the direction of the barn. My heart was racing and my mind’s eye immediately saw a horse in trouble, perhaps cast, on its back with its legs hitting the wall.

     I squinted at the clock, which read 5:00 a.m. Since it was only a couple of days after daylight savings time had ended, I thought, “Is it really five? Or six? Or four?”

     Thump! Thump! Thump! I sprang into action! I was putting on my barn clothes in my semi-awake state, and glanced at the outside thermometer to see how many layers I needed — Uh, oh! It looked like the cold front had rolled in.

     Walking to the barn, I glanced up at the moon, which was soft and dimly lit behind gauzy clouds. It was then I realized that I had forgotten my glasses, so the moon was looking blurrier than it might have otherwise.

     Upon entering the barn, flipping on the light, and seeing several things askew, the panic I had felt drained out of me as quickly as water out of an overturned stock tank with the realization that the donkeys were in the barn!

     “Oh, you darned donkeys! Get out of here!” I chased them with the pitchfork handle as they unhurriedly made their way back outside to their corral.

     They had been in the barn for a while, since I saw ample piles of donkey droppings — some were even drying out — and several pee breaks. They had thoroughly stomped, but not eaten, an open bale of hay.

     They had clomped on the wooden floor where I keep the grain — thump! thump! thump! — and had gotten into the pelleted feed. Note: If it had been the mules who had breeched the barn, they would have knocked the top off of the oat can and consumed most of the contents.

     I cleaned up the mess as best as I could with no glasses, and put the pee-soaked hay outside in their corral.

     I checked the horses, just to make sure they were all right. I heard the garbage truck making his rounds as I fed each horse a couple of treats. (You got it! No treats for the donkeys!)

     I can’t tell you how many nights I check every latch on every stall door between the corrals and the inside of the barn. But all it takes is one time of forgetting to look and an adept Ada plying the edge of the door with her nose, for the donkeys to be spending a night on the town…in the barn!

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     I hope you enjoy the Kids & Horses Annual Photo Album this year. We got a ton of submissions and want to thank everyone for making our job difficult to choose the ones to print. It was extra tough this year, because in several cases, we had moms AND grandmas submitting photos of the same kids. We wish we had room for them all!

     We are running a Readers’ Favorite Photo Contest this year, and the three photos with the most votes will each win a certificate for a youth Troxel helmet. There are also prizes for the runners-up.

     Readers, please take a minute to choose the Page Number and the Photo Number and let us know which photo is your Number One Favorite! You can mail it to us (use the form on Page 41, if you’d like); email your answer to photos@rockymountainrider.com, or go to our website and click on the link on our home page. 

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     We appreciate you taking the time to read our magazine throughout the year, and wish you and your family the happiest of holidays!

 

Copyright 2012 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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