Thursday, June 25, 2009
Horses Attacked by B-52s!
No, this isn't a war movie - the B-52s I'm referring to are the gigantic horse flies that have come out in force this year. The huge, black, persistent ones that land on the horse's rump or mid-back and deliver a very painful bite. We seem to have a lot of them this year - perhaps they really like a lot of rain followed by a lot of heat - and if their bites weren't so painful it would be almost funny the antics the horses get up to in order to get rid of one that's landed or avoid the ones that are flying. Much galloping, bucking and rolling - maybe a few flies even get crushed. Lily gets very still and "watches" them with her ears as they approach - they usually don't go after her too much, perhaps since she's grey. They seem to particularly fancy poor Fritz. The funniest fly removal attempt I saw yesterday was Maisie doing "butt hitches" - she was standing still, not bucking but repeatedly bumping her hindquarters off the ground - I'm not sure it was effective. So far I've been able to fend them off when leading (one reason I prefer morning duty to evenings is these flies, which are much worse as the day heats up) and haven't encountered one while riding - emergency evasive action would be required.