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Nose to the Ground January 06 Issue
January 05, 2006
Happy New Year To You!
We had frigid weather between Thanksgiving and Christmas followed by a thaw. Or a thaw and re-freezing to be more precise. The horses don't mind the cold and snow at all but aren't as happy with the combination of mud, ice, and cold rain (neither am I for that matter).
Had a late hay delivery and the truck went into the ditch trying to get up the hill to our place. Felt real good about that. Well at least the days are getting longer now - a minute or two a day but longer nevertheless.
Spring can't be too far off. At least Nessi thinks so. He started shedding his winter coat this the first week in January! I was grooming him and the hair was just flying off. I tell him he's at least a month early and if we get an Arctic blast down from Canada in February or March he might be sorry. But he's been shedding early for 14 winters and made it through them all just fine. What do I know?
The Gift Shop
I've added a tote bag in the Gift Shop. I got the idea while making a change to the Gift-U-Design Page which I now call, more accurately Gift Baskets. The tote bag featuring our logo is yet another possibility for a "container" to hold some goodies. An attractive one if I do say so myself.
"Timing is everything!" - or so I was told many times during my past career as an engineering manager. That phrase came home to me this past month when I located an excellent source of horse/equine jewelry. Large selection, wide price range, quality products - and, just a little to late for the Christmas shopper to take advantage of.
If a gift of horse jewelry is, or will be, on your mind I suggest you visit Equestrian Jewelry and request a copy of their catalog. You'll be rewarded with a very large selection of jewelry in this 79-page catalog. It's 95% about horses ( a few cat and dog items are included - they're quite nice as well).
In doing some research on saddles I've checked in at several forums. These are great places to get some questions answered as well as learn from the experiences of others. It's also rewarding to be able to contribute information from time to time.
If you haven't visited any horse forums and would like to give it a try here are three that I enjoy:
Western Horseman (the Magazine) at
Participants and moderators are generally glad to answer your questions and offer advice.
Horse Art - How to Draw a Horse
I've long had the desire to draw (or paint) horses but have never taken the time to learn. Any horse I draw is strictly a stick figure and a rather pathetic one at that.
Someone taking the same approach as I do will come up with a yet different result. In other words you have to have a feeling for and understanding of the horse, yourself, and the situation at hand.
Only when I became a "master" would the end result be not only very good but would definitely bear my imprint more so than my mentor's. I suspect to get there requires the same kind of feeling for the horse that Dorrance emphasizes as the basic require for proper training and handling of the horse.
In his book, True Unity, Dorrance wrestles with the problem of putting his knowledge and understanding of horses in writing. When he does find the words they are more often than not true gems. To ride a horse well you "go with the horse". I wonder if in some abstract way the artist does the same in drawing the animal.
I do enjoy working on the Horse Art part of the business but my background definitely exercised the other half of my brain, making recommendations as to what constitutes a good work of art difficult at times (most of the time maybe).
(Any thoughts Leena?)
Speaking of Tom Dorrance's True Unity I've just finished reading it. I'll be soon adding a review of it in the Horsemanship Books and Four Foot Bookshelf pages. It's a book I can highly recommend though I don't believe it's for everyone.
The book starts out with a description of Tom and his background, then words from Dorrance himself, followed by words by many he has helped over the years and finishes with plenty of good advice - "one-liners" if you will.
See you in February.
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