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Barrel of laughs


It's warm already at the farmette. 18C and sunny. I've filled the birdbath to give some relief to our feathered friends in anticipation of the scorcher that's supposed to come.

Yesterday was pretty hot, too. Sandy and I went to watch my niece Rachel compete in barrel racing and pole bending with her horse Trigger at a farm near Bellwoods Lake close to Guelph.

What a day! Rachel had actually travelled with another girl named Riley who brought a friend's horse as well. Turns out that, even though Trigger hadn't seen Pride for months, he still has a big crush on the 14 year old mare.

Every time she (or any horse that looked like her) was in the vicinity, the gelding would give off a low nicker and get antsy. Since we were all crowded under a canopy to stave off the relentless sun, having 1,000 pounds of horse twitching around got a bit exciting, to say the least.

I learned quite a bit about horse behaviour over the course of the day. Riley said that Pride is basically the 'babysitter' at the stable where she lives. She keeps the younger horses in line and has a very gentle manner with humans. In fact, she's the one Riley chooses for friends who have never ridden before.

Trigger, on the other hand, is a boy built for speed, and Rachel's basically the only one able to ride him. Together, they did very well in both the barrel race and the pole events, winning the princely sum of about $10, I think. But as she says, it's not about the prizes or money, but about getting better all the time. And the fun, of course.

Trigger's a real racer. According to my niece, he hasn't reached his full potential yet, even though he clocked an amazing 15.22 seconds on his barrel run yesterday.

There were a few other four-footed friends among the guests at the event. A couple of really cute goats were tethered in the shade close to our little gathering, so I couldn't resist going over for a pet and a pic. As you can see, they were quite obliging.

All in all, it was a great day. We yakked, we laughed, we oohed and aahed and got to hang out with other humans and animals. Doesn't get better than that. Until next week.


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