(dec. 19, 1995)
The colder Dutch days have arrived. A few weeks ago, when I was
riding my bicycle to Kasper, I saw the cold pulling a sheet of ice
over a canal, twigs and some late autumn leaves getting caught in the
frost. Since then, the ice has gone and returned. One day, one sees
some brave skaters testing the thin layer of ice, and the next day
the ice is melting, with phantom footsteps and skate marks in the
middle of the mushy c***surface.
Early last week, I lost my footing on the brick yard of the stalls
and flipped flat on my back. Ouch! That was MUCH more painful than
falling off Kasper on soft, thick arena sand...
On the fifth of december, we celebrate the birthday eve of
Sinterklaas and everyone gets presents. Sinterklaas may translate to
Santa Claus, but ours is a Spanish roman catholic bishop and he rides
a white horse over the roofs, followed by black helpers who push
presents down the chimney. He comes and goes on a steam boat.
Kasper got a "Big Red Apple", (produced by DMG products, 7764 Poplar
Ave, Suite 30, Citrus Heights, CA 95621, phone (916) 726-4564). The
yellow note with the red apple claims that "The Big Red Apple has
been known to curb horses of bad habits such as cribbing,
windsucking, digging holes, weaving and chewing wood." They further
explain that "this attractive, non-toxic playtoy is both safe and
calming for your horse. Research has confirmed that scents play an
important part in the emotional stability of animals, and it's been
discovered that an apple arome has a calming effect on horses."
They claim quite a lot, and although I like to read and collect such
would-be scientific notes, I take it with a grain of salt.
The good punch line they give says "Give it a try --- your horse will
love you for it!" Now which vulnerable person with money on him can
resist such a call? I sure couldn't and purchased the ball
immediately, on behalf of the roman catholic bishop person.
A friend helped us hang it in his stall while I took care to have
Kasper outside of it for a minute --- wouldn't want anyone standing
on a ladder over Kasper while he is spooked by the sudden appearance
of a red plastic ball smelling of apple! When I brough Kasper back
in, he first didn't notice the apple, but when he did, he froze. Then
he carefully avoided any contact with it, treading meticulously to
evade the spot it hung above.
Then, a few days later, we heard that a few other horse owners had
had a great time one night, watching Kasper play the ball. He snapped
at it, making the ball pop away from him and when the ball swung
back, lightly hitting his head, Kasper jumped. Then, Kasper hit the
ball with his nose and when it returned it's swing, Kasper ducked so
it missed. Smart! This game went on for some ten minutes and Kasper
ignored the bystanders who laughed and had as much fun as he himself
Too bad we ourselves haven't had a glimpse of him playing ball yet.
Jacoline once saw the ball swing when she arrived, but it seems that
once Kasper finds out we arrive, he forgets the ball and directs all
his attention to us and any feeding that might come from us... like
carrots, or a REAL apple!
Met hartelijke groet!
Frans Goddijn | bbs: +31 (0)26 3217041
6803 AD Arnhem | fax: +31 (0)26 3210500
The Netherlands | http://SportToday.org/~fg
___ timEd/2 1.10.g2+
- Origin: Flying is great. Landing is fantastic. (2:512/214)