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A Letter to "Horsie" Tech Support:

Dear Tech Support,

Recently I purchased and installed Horse 1.0. I soon noticed that this program appears to have numerous glitches. For instance, every time my computer boots up, I have to run Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. Many times I've been in the middle of writing an important document, and a window will flash telling me to run Clean Stall 2.0. This program also contained applications I did not wish to install, such as Manure 8.5, however they auto-installed with Horse 1.0. Applications such as Vacation 2.7 and Free Time 10.1 can no longer run, crashing whenever selected. Possibly the worst is that Horse 1.0 has attached itself to programs like Finance Manager and MS Money, with folders added such as "Monthly Shoeing" and "Winter Blanket". Periodically, I'll get a reminder telling me to send a check to the manufacturer of Horse 1.0 for the aforementioned items. I have tried to uninstall Horse 1.0 numerous times, but when I try to run the uninstall program, I get warning messages telling me that a deadly virus known as "Withdrawal" will infect my system. Please Help!!!!!

THE REPLY:

Dear User,

Your complaint is not unusual. A common misconception among users is that Horse 1.0 is a mere "utilities and entertainment program." It is not - it is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its' creator to run everything! A warning will soon be imprinted on the box. Since you have already installed Horse 1.0, here are a few tips on how to make it run better. If you are annoyed by the applications Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1, you may run C: \HIRE HELP, however this will cause another folder to be added to financial applications, labeled "Staff". Failure to send payment to "Staff" will result in Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1 being run again on startup. A note of caution: NOT booting up your computer for several days isn't the solution to avoiding Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. You will find that, when you boot up your computer again, a nasty virus called "Colic 4.2" will have attached itself to important documents and the only way to rid your computer of Colic 4.2 is by purchasing and installing "Vet 10.1", which we admit is extremely expensive, but crucial. Otherwise, Colic 4.2 will cause irreversible damage to the operating system. Finally, it is important that you run C:\Carrots and C:\Scratch Ears on a fairly regular basis to keep the application running smoothly. If you have any more questions, please call our toll free number.

Sincerely, Tech Support

Submitted by Natalie, Damascus, Md.
 

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The Christmas Horse

The young couple had made their usual hurried, pre-Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine which topped the hill behind the farm, and through the years had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, but they sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.

Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks. "Why do you not at least dispose of "The Old One". She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had foals from her. You should cut corners and save where you can. Why do you keep her anyway?"

The old man looked down as his worn boot scuffed at the barn floor and his arm stole defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her to him and rubbed her gently behind the ears.

He replied softly, "We keep her because of love. Only because of love."

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley. So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smouldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One".

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury. By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife. They thanked those who had come to their aid, and the old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana.

Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared."

And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his hand. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they looked up and gasped in amazement at the incredible beauty before them. Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy as he pulled his wife forward. There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift. Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe. At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine.

And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of those she loved. Her body was brittle with years, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift - Because of love. Only Because of love.
 

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Things one should never say to a blacksmith ...
  • If you will just give each of the dogs a piece of hoof they will get out from under the horse and quit fighting.
  • As much as you charge, I should get to use that truck too.
  • If you get that done in 30 minutes, youíll be making $160. per hour. 
  • Thatís not the way they did it on that horseshoeing show.
  • I see who makes all the money in horses farriers!
  • My last farrier couldnít finish they gave me your name and number.
  • You donít mind if I feed the other horses, do you?
  • Are you sure you have them on the correct foot?
  • If he didnít kick like that, Iíd trim him myself.
  • Would you mind trimming my new BLM mustang?
  • Can we shoe him in the arena? If he rears in the barn, he hits his head.
  • You sure earned your money on that one!
  • I forgot you were coming; I just turned all the horses out.
  • Can you make it after six, or on Sunday, I have to work.
  • I just cannot believe that he bit you.
  • I read all about the "Natural Way" to trim on the internet, and youíre supposed to...
  • Did that hurt?
  • I know that he is difficult to shoe, but he is so good on the trails.
  • It doesnít look like heís leaning from here.
  • Good morning glad youíre here can we reschedule? I have a lot going on today.
  • Itís so cool that he can "balance" on just two feet.
  • Can you shoe him so that he doesnít paw?
  • Donít tell my husband that I used the grocery money.
  • Most times when he kicks, he misses!
  • Just do the hinds Iíll do the the fronts.
  • I left the checkbook in the car, and my wife/husband just left can you bill me?
  • Iím sure glad you donít mind working on muddy feet.
  • Does it mean my horses have some sort of deficiency when they chew the paint off your truck like that?
  • This horse does forge, also interferes, and sometimes hits his knees.... we need to keep the price down on this bill.
  • I got a bargain on these shoes at a rummage sale, could you use them instead and save me some money?
  • Oops! Wrong horse.
  • I know I said just a trim, but can we shoe Ďem as well?
  • My weanling colt needs a trim, and I figured you could halter break him at the same time.
  • Iíve got a new horse whose feet are in pretty bad shape. The previous owners said their farrier wouldnít work on him.
  • I know itís been a long day for you; thatís why I saved the worst one for last.
  • If my other farrierís ribs werenít broken, heíd be able to get shoes on this horse.
  • Itís a good thing youíre slow today, or heíd have had shoes on when he kicked your truck.
  • My grandpa used to shoe horses like you, only he used a sledge and a corn knife.
  • I donít understand why the shoes didnít stay on. I just had them done 12 weeks ago.

Submitted by 'Blacksmith' Dick, Williamsport, Md. - From Hoofprints.com
 

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Say these things anywhere but at the stables and you may be in trouble!
  • He won't come into my hands.
  • There's nothing like having 17 hands between your legs.
  • I'm gonna get off now.
  • More leg less hand.
  • It was a great ride, but he's kinda sticky.
  • He needs a good 20 minute warm-up.
  • Relax your back, don't pinch with your knees ... go with the motion.... rock your pelvis......
  • When he gets excited he really foams up.
  • If he's not ridden 5 days a week he gets cranky.
  • I rode yesterday, but Suzy's riding him today.
  • Go ahead, ride him, you'll like it .... he'll be good for you and teach you quite a bit.
  • He can be ridden twice in one day.
  • Push!!!!
  • Go Go Go!!!
  • He's being a pig ... get his head up.
  • He bends to the left, but he's really stiff to the right.
  • He really over-reacts when I sit down into him.
  • Smack him if he refuses.
  •  Clean it quick before he sucks it back in.
  • Is she a maiden?
  •  Can I pat your Ass?
  • Has anyone seen my breast collar?

Submitted by Penny, Middleburg, Md.
 

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Reasons Riding is Better Than Sex

  • You don't have to sneak your riding magazines into the house.
  • If you are having trouble with riding, it's perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to show you how to improve your technique.
  • The Ten Commandments don't say anything about riding.
  • If your trainer takes pictures or videotapes of you riding, you don't have to worry about them showing up on the Internet when you become famous.
  • Your horse won't keep asking questions about other horses you've ridden.
  • It's perfectly respectable to ride a horse you've never met before, just once, or, ride many horses in the same day, whether you know them or not.
  • When you see a really good horse, you don't have to feel guilty about imagining riding him.
  • If your regular horse isn't available, he/she won't object if you ride another horse.
  • Nobody will ever tell you that you can go blind if you ride by yourself.
  • When dealing with a riding trainer, you never have to wonder if they are really an undercover cop.
  • You don't have to go to a sleazy shop in a seedy neighborhood to buy riding stuff.
  • You can have a riding calendar on your wall at the office, tell riding jokes and invite co-workers to ride with you without getting sued for harassment.
  • There's no such thing as a Riding Transmitted Disease.
  • If you want to watch horses on television, you don't have to subscribe to a premium cable channel (but you might need a video tape).
  • You don't have to be a newlywed to plan a vacation primarily for the enjoyment of riding.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.
 

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A Horseman's Christmas - Doris Eraldi

It's the night before Christmas, we're out in the barn
Blanketing horses to keep them all warm
They're eating their dinners, tucked in cozy stalls
Not aware that it's Christmas or any special day at all

They can dream of spring pastures from their pine-scented beds
No visions of sugarplums dance in their heads
But we people are thinking of merry parties and such
Maybe feeling a little sad at missing so much

This season is special but the horses don't know
We've got work to do before we can go
We finish the chores and head on inside
To get ready for dinner and our own yuletide

It's nearly midnight, the carols are sung
I remember a story I was told when I was young
How at midnight on Christmas Eve
The creatures of the barnyard can speak to us with ease

I am called to the barn, I wade through the rain
I know I must go, I can't really explain
I slide open the door, pause for a while
Then slowly walk down that dimly lit aisle

A nicker from Casey, a wink from JD
Sleepy old Alibi waking to see
Tucker rustling his bedding, a snort soft and light
Each horse gave a greeting as I walked through the night

I thought about parties bright lit and warm
The ones we don't go to 'cause we have the barn
And vacations and holidays that we don't get
When we're working long hours for bills to be met

Walking all the way to the end of the aisle
I stop to stroke Bonnie, it brings me a smile
She snuffles my face, hot breath on my skin
It starts me to thinking about my horses, my kin

I could be at parties with laughter and mirth
But where I am right now is the best place on Earth.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.
 

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New Year's Resolutions for Horses
  • I CAN walk and poop at the same time. I can, I can, I can.
  • I will NOT stop and poop or urinate every time I pass the same spot in the arena.
  • I will NOT leave when my rider falls off.
  • My stall is NOT my litter box. When I have free access to my paddock, I will NOT go back inside to pee.
  • I will NOT roll in streams or try to roll when my human is on my back.
  • I will NOT leap over large nonexistent obstacles when the whim strikes.
  • I will NOT walk faster on the way home than I did on the way out.
  • I promise NOT to swish my tail while my human is cleaning my back feet.
  • I promise also NOT to choose that particular time to answer nature's call.
  • I will NOT bite my furrier's butt just because it is there.
  • I will NOT confuse my human's blond hair for really soft hay.
  • I will NOT wipe green slime down the back of my human's white shirt.
  • I will NOT blow my nose on my human.
  • I will NOT try to mooch goodies off every human within a 1 mile radius.
  • I will NOT lay totally flat out in my stall with my eyes glazed over and my legs straight out and pretend I can't hear my human frantically screaming "Are you asleep?"
  • I will NOT chase the ponies into the electric fence to see if it is on.
  • I will promise NEVER to dump the wheelbarrow of manure over while a human is mucking my stall.
  • I will NOT grab my lead rope in my mouth and attempt to lead myself.
  • I will NOT have an attitude problem. I won't, I won't, I won't!
  • I will NOT pull my new shoes off the very next day just to prove that I can.
  • I am neither a beaver nor a carpenter. I promise I won't eat or remodel the barn or the new fences.
  • I WILL forgive my human for the very bad haircut, even though I look like a freak.
  • I accept that not every carrot is for me.
  • I will NOT do the Arab Teleport Trick when a bad/naughty/awful Horsasaurus Monster breathes at me.
  • I will NOT jump in the air and turn 180 degrees every time I see a bicycle.
  • I will understand that bicycles are NOT carnivorous.
  • I will NOT shy at familiar objects just for fun.
  • I will NOT bite the butt of the horse in front of me during the trail ride just to say "Hi".
  • I WILL put my ears forward and cooperate when it comes to photos.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, MD.
 

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Glossary of Horse Terms
  • Hock: Financial condition of all horse owners.
  • Stall: What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way to a big trail ride.
  • A Bit: What you have left in your pocket after youíve been to your favorite tack shop.
  • Fence: Decorative structure built to provide your horse with something to chew on.
  • Horse Auction: What you think of having after your horse bucks you off.
  • Pinto: Green coat pattern found on freshly washed light colored horses left unattended for 2 minutes.
  • Well Mannered: Hasnít stepped on, bitten, or kicked anyone for a week.
  • Rasp: Abrasive metal tool used to remove excess skin from ones knuckles.
  • Lunging: Popular training method in which a horse exercises their owner by spinning them in circles until dizzy.
  • Gallop: Customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn.
  • Nicely Started: Lunges, but not enough health insurance to even think about riding him.
  • Colic: Gastro-intestinal result of eating at horse fair food stands.
  • Colt: What your mare gives you when you want a filly.
  • Easy to Load: Only takes 3 hours, 4 men, a 50lb bag of oats, and a tractor with loader.
  • Easy to Catch: In a 10x10 stall.
  • Easy Rider: Rides good in a trailer; not to be confused with "ride-able".
  • Endurance Ride: End result when your horse spooks and runs away with you.
  • Hives: What you get when receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 1 donkey.
  • Hobbles: Walking gait of a horse owner after their foot has been stepped on by their horse.
  • Feed: Expensive substance used to manufacture manure.
  • Dog House: What you are in when you spend too much money on grooming supplies and pretty halters.
  • Light Cribber: We canít afford to build anymore fencing or box stalls for this buzz saw on four legs.
  • Three Gaited Horse: A horse thatÖ 1) trips, 2) stumbles, 3) falls.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.
 

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Things not to say to you Farrier
  • I want to try this new shoe that I read about in ______ (insert horse magazine name here)
  •  ________(insert other farrierís name here) will shoe for $____ less.
  • I save the good fly spray for the horse shows.
  • I try to clean out his feet, but it kills my back when he jerks me around that way.
  • I know you only booked us for five horses, but can you fit these other 4 in today?
  • Will you teach me to do that - so I can save some money? And loan me your tools, too?
  • Shoeing horses is easy money.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.
 

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