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Nose to the Ground Spring 09 Issue
March 14, 2009

Welcome to Old Friends and New Subscribers!

Still waiting for spring around here. About a week ago we started seeing a few patches of grass, then the Canadians sent down another Alberta Clipper. Got 2 feet of snow and a week of single digit temperatures. Well, as long as there's hope, spring should eventually make it.

I hope your winter has gone well and spring is well on the way where you live. I also hope the current economic mess hasn't hit you hard. Been discussing that particular situation with the horses.

Recently there have been some stories here in the west about people abandoning their horses. The cost of hay has gone up it's true, but I have a hard time imagining anyone just abandoning their animals. It has happened though. There are too many horse lovers around who would take them in, even if it were somewhat of a sacrifice to do that. I tell our horses they don't need to worry.
I don't think they do.

Maybe a one-ton bale of hay isn't such a goofy gift idea after all!

It comes as no surprise that sales have been off the past few months.I haven't felt much like shopping either. What is happening though is that the number of visitors to Your Guide ... is steadily increasing, plus the number of clicks on ads has shot up.

Could be that people are still shopping, but being much more selective. There's nothing at all wrong with that, maybe the silver lining to this economic downturn is that we're all learning to shop smarter!

Horse Art - Not long ago I received a postcard from equine artist Lee Ellen Smith, advertising her equine art, and offering open edition, fine art giclee on canvas paintngs, of champion throroughbreds from Man O' War to Barbaro. Included in the selection is a very interesting print titled "Conformation", which I'd like to share with you. You can view Lee's work at Lee Ellen Smith's Website.

Vacations On Horseback - About the same time the postcard arrived I got an e-mail from Wenda, in the Netherlands. It read as follows:

"I would love to share with you my gift to the world: Horsetrekking through the Tunisian Sahara, with Bedouin cavalier Abderrahim ben Abdelmalek.The views are breathtaking, the horse riding experience something never to forget! The horses are faster than fast and really enjoy climbing the sanddunes. Please visit my site,".

I've been looking through Wenda's site, and there are some interesting photographs. If you're looking for something truly exotic in the way of a horseback vacation, this might just fill the bill. I'd read somewhere that horses don't like camels, but some of the photographs suggest otherwise. If you want to take a peek, you can type the above address into your browser, or just Click Here.

Horse Books - This book is almost small enough for a stocking present (a little late for that I know). It's only 84 pages, but is it ever packed with good stuff. It ought to be, the author is Ray Hunt. The title is "Think Harmony With Horses".

I've mentioned sometime in the past how impressed I was when I first viewed one of Ray's training videos. This is a book where almost every sentence has something to offer, yet you don't feel like you're getting information overload.

There are sections on Ray's own teaching and philosophy, a question and answer section, a look at Ray's techniques through the eyes of another, and finally, a 3-page "Equeology", which you could tape to your wrist before working with your horses, like a pro quarterback tapes plays to his wrist.

This book is just a joy.

Amazon has it:

Think Harmony With Horses: An In-Depth Study of Horse/Man Relationship

Finally, I got this contribution from Sarah, in Sulfur, Louisiana. I know it doesn't have too much to do with horse lover's gifts except maybe the gift of laughter. I got a kick out of it though and just wish she had a video to go with it!

Sarah wrote:

"I was in my rodeo finals, the last event and I was in first place in my division. my horse was coming around the first barrel and all a sudden I lost my footing and fell off. My horse didn't know what to do, and kept doing the pattern and finished w/o me. We would have won too, but they disqualified me and said you have to stay on the horse. I was so mad, but now I look back and only can laugh".

I'll leave you with that one. The next Nose To The Ground will be published when my fingers thaw out. One of these years, the Montana winter is going to last 9 months (instead of the usual 4). I just know it!

It's always a joy sending Nose To The Ground to you. Until next time, happy riding!

Bill Savage

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