We’re often neglectful of mentioning the 2 longest residents of Run A Muck Ranch, aside from me and Crabby.
Charlie and I have been together for 19 years. He was bred to be not ‘a’ but ‘the’ superior Arabian stud of the world. Unfortunately, where he was pretty, and conformationally perfect, Charlie’s brain wiring came out all wrong. In the end, this horse, syndicated before his birth, for more than most of us make in several years, was given to me because we were the only humans Charlie trusted. Many people working with Charlie, before he reached 2 years old, ended up in the hospital. No one wanted to work with him.
Hal came to us 11 years ago. I used to come from thoroughbred country, and to me, an ex-race horse was a ‘normal’ horse. Except in the case of Hal. He is overly sensitive, kind of like Willy. To upset Hal puts him into a colic. Hay upsets his stomach, and for that reason, he’s on pellets only. Our mission: Make sure Hal stays emotionally level to keep him from colicing.
Honestly, with so many dogs, I don’t deserve the honor of keeping Hal and Charlie in my life. That neither can fulfill their duty to serve humans means no one else would want them. I’ve spoken to my vet several times about finding better homes for the boys. Each time she has informed me that I am not as bad a mom as I think I am, and that anywhere else, especially Charlie, would be dead. So the boys remain, and I live in perpetual guilt that I am not a good mom to them.
As substandard a mom as I am, the boys’ well being is still my primary concern:
You would think, living on the desert, mosquitoes wouldn’t be an issue. You would think wrong. Post rains, we are inundated them. I’m covered in bites, but I can go inside. Hal and Charlie, they’re stuck outside.
Hal, especially, reacts to bites. They turn into massive welts and itch him so bad. Despite gallons of chemicals put on him to repel mosquitoes, he still looks like he’s broken out in hives sometimes. Charlie isn’t as sensitive, but sometimes you can just tell he’s had a hard night.
Crabby read something in one of his camping magazines that gave him pause: It was written that mosquitoes and other bugs leave people alone when wind speeds are at 5 mph or higher. Is that true? And if so, would the same apply to the horses?
To test it, Crabby took the ceiling fans from the greenhouse and installed them above the horse stalls, pointing down, roughly to the center of the 12 x 12 stalls.
First impressions after use:
Not as much tail swishing (tails brushing bugs off). This was both in the dark (mosquitoes) and in the morning (flies). Yes, a few new mosquito bites, but exponentially fewer than usual, even with the use of chemical. Equally important, Hal and Charlie are less agitated from fighting the bugs.
Is it possible that all those harsh chemicals I’ve used on the boys were never actually necessary, and that all we needed was forced air movement to keep the bugs away?
I’d like to hear from other horse people if they’ve tried anything like this before, and what the results were.