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September 20, 2018: Time’s Fun when You’re Having Flies

Today it was a bit chillier and a bit more overcast. The leaves on the trees are now yellow with a green tinge. Winter is coming. In another week, hunting season will be over. The hunters got the best month of the year to murder, maim, and kill. In my mind is an image of the trail to Grizzly Camp, muddy, chewed up, impassable.

Ah, but there is an upside to colder weather. When it’s warmer we and the horses have to contend with insects. The most prevalent of the lot are these really small gnats. They tend to go for the inside corners of my eyes. I have to stop whatever I’m doing and with my index finger, squish them. Poor Tinni – they go for his weepy left eye. We’ve had some flies, but they don’t linger long and there are not that many of them. The flies mostly prefer the chicken pen, which has chicken droppings. And the chicken pen is close to the cabin. For this reason I keep it clean.

I manage to keep the insect population down by keeping the pen really, really clean and removing as many sources of standing water as I can. The 100 or so (really) five gallon buckets are tipped over, tires are emptied out, and water is emptied out of all other items.

I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t take the proper measures. I suspect that it would be unbearable around here. I know that there are products on the market – this includes sprays that are carcinogens. We use green based sprays on the horses. It’s a tough call because the carcinogenic stuff actually works a lot better.

We don’t have bot flies here. Bot flies lay little yellow legs on horses’ legs. The horses rub their legs and ingest the eggs, which hatch into parasites that if left untreated can kill them. And we don’t have deer flies, which are large and hurt horses and humans when they bite.

We also don’t have parasite infestations. We used to deworm the horses once every two months, but we don’t do this anymore. I pick up the poop, which is a source of parasites, before they ingest it. We sent poop in for fecal testing, it all came back negative. Our veterinarian once took a sample into a class he was teaching and he could not find a single egg or parasite.

Giving a horse dewormer can, over time, cause the parasites to become resistant to the chemicals that are used.

If we were to graze our animals where other horses have been, we’d deworm them. The last time we did this was three years ago. Raudi grazed in the Saddle Up grass paddock during the second day of the CTR. She didn’t get to finish because she had a girth sore.

Gosh, I sound self-righteous. Well, I can afford to be. When it comes to animal care, I’m on top of it.

Next: 263. 9/21/18: The Good Life

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