Sweet Living

Sunday, August 01, 2021 —(In 21 days, August’s full “Sturgeon” moon will rise nearest to earth.)

These are my equines, enjoying the rare event of being allowed on a summer pasture. They’re happy as fat cats.

Summer grass grows loaded with sugar and almost instantly makes my animals balloon in weight. It’s different these days, because for a change, they’re all working hard enough to utilize nutrients. That prevents sugar energy from sitting and becoming stored as fat, perhaps also damaging their hooves.

Like people, horses love sugar and most will accept anything people might eat. For example, mine love offerings of fruits and unsalted nuts. After a horse grabbed from my hand and consumed it, I recognized they’ll go for ham sandwiches. One enjoys watching as a horse chews, slurps, and relishes an unpeeled orange.

Having a horse means keeping it busy. I used to ride horseback all the time. Both are willing, trusty, sure-footed, and kind. They’ve carried me up mountains, across busy streams, and down into canyons. My two are full sisters from Eastern Oregon, where they had been packed to haul equipment for creating or improving forest trails, participated in a rodeo drill team, and carried riders into mountains, canyons, and forests.

One that had been trained as a driving horse inspired me to learn to drive, and eventually have my other horse trained for driving. Over time, I began to ride less and drive more, because it’s a wonderful exercise for getting a horse into terrific muscular condition.

My donkey, too, has begun exercising. Daily, Miss Pimmy is hitched to “the Gater”, a ranch vehicle, and must trot to keep up with it. This is helping Pimmy work off excess weight and achieve muscling.

Thus, my equines are enjoying time on summer grass. Their workouts are earning them daily one hour on a pasture belonging to my neighbor, John. He lives just across the road and loves animals.

Dear Friends: Animals aren’t ornaments, they’re to be fed, used, conditioned, and enjoyed. Diana

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