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Articles By Mike Rooth

Owls and Horses

Before I was so *rudely* interrupted by some sod wanting me to work...ME!..WORK!.Ought to be grateful I'm here at all.I mean,if Jan can just sit there in a courtroom looking devastatingly beautiful and get paid for it,surely I can hide my ugly mug behind my own office door(locked) and expect to get paid too?Not too much to ask is it? Anyway,apparently the Land Rover Hawk flying team were short a certain owl which those who had seen them before had remarked upon,because it was an extremely *large* owl.*Very* large.When consulted,the bossman said,"Ah, *that* owl.Yes,well.We were flying him at a show like this one,when he spotted a kid in the audience eating a beefburger.?He swooped down,settled on the kid's shoulder, nicked the beefburger,flew to the centre of the ring,and woulnt let anyone near him until he'd finished it.That wasnt too bad,but by the end of the next show the sod had had four hot dog sausages.With onions.So we decided he had better stay at home,if he was going to be a hooligan. (Way to go,owl!!).

I'm not sure whether they left him at home because of behavioural problems,or because of bad breath.I'll find out when I see them again.

Personally,I think the owl showed bad taste.Should have eaten the kid.THEN the beefburger to take the taste away. At the same show,there arrived two people,man and wife with a quarter horse apiece.Wife had a mare,the bloke a stallion.They gave the most wonderful demonstration of horsemanship its ever been my privelige to see.

OK,you all mebbe do this sort of thing before breakfast just to get warmed up,but backing and circling that horse through poles and cones,with and without a bridle,dead stop from any gait,was really something to see.Specially since by then I'd got outside a pint of *very* strong Scrumpy.Seems the bloke was President of the British Quarter Horse Association,he sounded New Zealand to me. Its a style of riding I've always liked,seems more relaxed than ours,allows the horse to take its own shape rather than forcing it into an attitude it wont normally assume then expecting it to work.Even my daughter,normally dismissive of American riding style thought maybe our mare would be better ridden that way. Didnt think much of the guy's saddle,though.Shallow but long seat,pathetic horn,wouldnt stop a runaway puppy, let alone a cow,and no swelled fork.Must have been made over here.Question is,though,does one need the tack to ride that way,or can the style be adopted using English tack?Anyone know?

Horses were both chestnuts,'bout 15.2h,bigger than I'd imagined quarter horses for some reason,but both very well put together.Surprisingly,it was the mare who got fidgety,the stallion was extremely well behaved,like a true gentleman,of course.I'm hooked!

   
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