I started this blog last January. I logged in, created a password, and got as far as this page. Which I left blank because, although I write off and on all day, always have, scribbling into notebooks, on loose receipts, the back of my hand, I couldn’t write here.
Twenty years ago my artist husband and I moved to Arizona from Massachusetts and bought a horse ranch outside Tucson. Bernie’s studio is in the hay barn. Twenty horses live here, ours and boarders, roaming the foothill pastures. We do the work ourselves, drag hundred-and-twenty pound hay bales into the ancient Nissan truck and feed them morning and evening. We dump and scrub water troughs, mend fences, rehabilitate injured animals, take in rescues, raise foals, start, train and compete the horses we bred, and retire old horses.
No veterinarian lives out here. Although some will come if we call, it takes hours or days to get that kind of help.
Taking care of this many horses day after day for decades, stories pile up. Every day, every horse… and the dogs, birds, coyotes. The skunks and badgers and fox. Dry spring winds… summer wild fires… monsoon rains… winter freezes so intense the well pump bursts.
Rattlesnake bites. Mountain lions.
SALT: Add 2 to 4 oz. loose salt to each horse’s feed every day. Cup your hand, fill your palm. That’s 2 oz. Sprinkle it on. Salt blocks are for cattle and too rough for a horse’s tongue.