Birthday parties for horses. Wait. What?

Last weekend I attended a birthday party for a horse. Yes, you did read that correctly. I did in fact attend a birthday party for a horse.

The party was in honor of Missy’s twenty-fifth birthday. While Missy has several claims to fame, her owner chose to host this particular party because at age five, Missy underwent a serious colic surgery that was meant save her life but not expected to extended it much past five years. Twenty years later and here we are singing happy birthday in front of her decorated stall  and offering her carrot bribes in exchange for photo ops. Horses teach you things. Expecting the unexpected is one of those things.

Naturally, Missy is pretty special to her owner. I have known her for several years now and she is indeed a special horse. She wore a tiara for part of the party and surrounded by her family and friends she was offered carrot cake. She didn’t like it by the way. At her age, you can not choose not to like your own birthday cake. Her guests enjoyed refreshments and fellowship and Missy enjoyed being the center of attention.

 

Missy's Birthday Cake

Missy and her birthday cake.

 

Missy's Carrots

Missy accepting carrot bribes in exchange for photographs.

I admit it. It’s things like this that make folks question the sanity of horse people. I however love it. My husband would never dream of hosting a birthday party for one of his cows.  My friend Betsy, Missy’s owner who hosted last weekend’s party, isn’t the first horse person to hold a birthday party for a horse either. I’ve hosted a couple of them myself. There will likely be more after us. If you ever get invited to a party for a horse drop everything and go. They are well worth it.

When my Arabian gelding  Faax (Fox) turned thirty and again when he turned thirty-five, I hosted parties for him. Like Missy, Faax had some accomplishments in his life but even if he hadn’t he was significant to me. If you are not a horse person, thirty is an advanced age for a horse. He was family to me. Of course I was going to help him celebrate.

On both occasions I invited family and friends important to our life together. I served carrot cake at his first party but dispensed with it at his second. Like Missy, he wasn’t fond of his either. I also shared photographs of our many memories together. I made more photographs for new memories.

Both parties were a time of food, fun, and fellowship honoring the life of a special horse. That’s what these parties are for. I even wrote about one of his parties for an Arabian horse publication. One of the magazine’s subscribers who read the article happened to own a half sibling of Faax from the same foal crop. She tracked me down and called me. We shared stories and talked for hours adding another person to our close circle of friends.

I promised Faax another if he made it to forty.  Sadly, he didn’t make it quite that far which is why I’m so glad that I did them. Not quite two years after his last party he crossed over the rainbow bridge. It was truly an honor for me to be a part of his life for twenty-five of his thirty-six years. Opportunities for things that seem silly but in retrospect make for some of your very best memories should never be passed up. Go ahead and celebrate. I bet others will be glad you did.

 

 

Faax's 36th Birthday Party.JPG

Faax’s 36th birthday party.

Because this post is supposed to be a happy one about celebrating our horses and not one that makes you cry, I would love to hear from you about your horse celebrations. What special traditions do you have for celebrating milestones in the lives of your horses? Feel free to share the funny, the sweet, and the sad. After all, none of us are in this alone.

 

 

 

 

Pen Pals

 

Wester Horseman Letter 1

My pen pal letter published in The Western Horseman magazine. I’m not sure what I meant then by “almost registered” except that at the time the Spotted Saddle Horse was a relatively new breed. About six year’s earlier, one registry had been established with another arriving on the scene the following year. I do remember seeking to get my pony registered.

Recently, I was inspired to write about a favorite memory that involved horses. For inspiration, I dusted off an old photo album and began pouring over the old pictures inside. Several leapt out at me but  I realized there was one in particular that I had never written about before but that was most definitely a major part of my history with horses. Continue reading

Trail Riding the Milky Way

Here’s a link to my latest EQUUS article to publish on-line. It was originally featured in the October 2017 print edition. I have so many fond memories of this place. One of my jobs when I worked at an Arabian horse farm here was to bring in one or two of the mares from the mare band per day and give them a thorough grooming. To this day, whenever I groom a horse, I still think about that. Give it a read and let me know what you think! Continue reading

This Old Chair

This Old Chair

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on a break from my blog. I’ve been feeling a bit contemplative and wondering whether or not I should I continue it and if so, going forward, in what form.  By the simple fact that I’m once again posting, you’ve probably correctly guessed that I’ve decided to return for 2018. This year, however, will be full of happy changes. Continue reading

Harrison Fisher: Family artifacts lead to an interesting discovery

 

Harrison FisherA little over six weeks ago my family and I moved. After seventeen years at the same residence, the move was a culmination of a three-year project to completely remodel my husband’s grandparent’s farmhouse. Our “new” home will actually be celebrating its ninety-first birthday in 2018. Continue reading

5 Things You Should Know About Planning for Your Horse’s Future

Five Things You Should Know Post

Back in February of this year, I lost a dear friend and mentor. As the anniversary of her death approaches I am reminded of an unintentional yet valuable lesson that she taught me. Continue reading

Trailer Tire Savvy

Trailer Tire

Do you have concerns about purchasing or maintaining your horse trailer’s tires? Don’t miss out on my most recent EQUUS magazine article to publish on line. It provides information you need to know right now in order to make informed decisions regarding purchasing and maintaining  horse trailer tires and much more! Continue reading

To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 6

15036647_1870969523189657_1598909499181880431_n

In this seven part series I sat down with one of this country’s leading farriers to tackle the age old debate of shoeing your horse verses leaving him or her barefoot. The series is both controversial and enlightening and in the end, my goal is to provide information on both sides of the fence so that you may make an informed decision about your horse’s shoeing needs.

In the first two installments, To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 1 and To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 2 I introduced the series and provided some initial shoeing factors. In To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 3 I covered the healthy hoof and options to protect it. Finally, in To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 4, my expert provided some trimming options to consider should you decide to leave your horse barefoot. In last week’s post, To Shoe or Not to Shoe: Part 5, we talked about reasons why an owner might choose to shoe his or her horse. You’ll want a quality farrier to guide you along the way so in this week’s post I cover how to select and keep a quality farrier.  Continue reading