I've been a little uninspired lately as far as topics for blogs, so I reached out to my wonderful facebook friends for a little inspiration. Here are the things they wanted to hear about!
Grant wanted to know how long it takes for a horse to go from conception to rideable. It's a straightforward question, but the answer isn't quite as simple. The gestation period for a horse is 11 months, nobody argues this one. The time from birth that it is ok to ride them is another story. The average horse person will tell you two and a half to three years is old enough to start their riding career. There are some folks out there who start their horses at 16-18 months so that they are ready to show as a 2 year old. Racehorses all turn a year older on January 1. If they were born late in the year, they may be racing as a 2 year old much MUCH younger. Then there's the folks on the other side of the fence who say a horse shouldn't be ridden until their skeleton is fully mature, around 6 years old. If you are interested in more information on the horse's skeleton, Dr. Deb Bennett has a great article on her website. Now since this is my blog, here's my opinion. I think if you wait until a horse is 6 years old to start them, they have spent too much time not working for a living. I like to do lots of groundwork when they are still small and impressionable, around 2. I want them nice and quiet and to get them going under saddle. Then a break until they are after 3 to start their "real" training. Each horse is an individual and their physical and mental maturity should always be taken into account before doing any type of training.
Jamison wanted to know how many inches are in a hand, which is how we express a horse's height. There are 4 inches in a hand. Hand is abbreviated hh, and the inches over and above a hand are placed after the decimal. So a horse who is 15 hands and 2 inches would be 15.2hh. Many folks misunderstand the use of the decimal and would list this horse as 15.5hh, but that would not be correct.
Kelsey wanted to know if Mr. Ed could really talk. According to Wikipedia they used a thread across his lip to encourage him to "talk", but, being a very smart boy, quickly learned to watch the actor and start talking when his costar had finished a line.
And.. I found this video on youtube. Enjoy. Or marvel. Or wonder. Or.. whatever, I guess. ;)