Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No one can talk to a horse of course

This scene is not from Florida's premier horse country up near Ocala (where Jacob of Ocala Daily Photo calls home) or out in Central Florida on one of our many working cattle ranches. Nor is it a scene from Lori's wonderful Skoog Farm Journal up in western New York State. This is a good 'ole working saddle horse in a very typical wooden corral that is quite common in Florida - we do have more than half a million horses in the state. The industry, according to Florida Horse.Com, has a total economic impact on the state in the range of $7 billion each year. That's a lot of revenue we owe to this fine animals. Almost 250,000 Floridians are involved in the horse industry and there are 900 horse farms in Florida with over 72,000 employees.

I owned a big gelding years ago, named Gigolo. He was a great riding horse, English or Western, and it seemed he could eat his weight in sweet feed and hay every day. Good disposition and work ethic...he thought he was supposed to be cutting cattle, why I don't know. He might have had an early career on a ranch with his previous owner and he liked to be put through his paces on occasion. He was spoken to very often and pretty much told me where I could go.

This friendly American Paint was trying to find some shade under a wide canopy of oak trees and might have been hoping someone would saddle him up for a few minutes on the nearby hundreds of acres. So typical is the loose sand that he spends his days in and the extreme heat, humidity, moss, flies and mosquitoes he has to put up with. But, all-in-all, life is good and you can talk to a horse. OF COURSE you can. I did and asked him to pose. Can't you see the twinkle in his eye...yes, I did have a sugar cube and a carrot ready for him. He clearly spoke to me and said that's what he prefers.


Jacob said...

A wonderful animal! Looks similar but lighter to the ones we shot yesterday out toward Levy County...

Nice commentary, too. Thanks for the reminder about carrots and sugar cubes! We always forget, but the horses usually talk to us anyway!

Thanks, too, for the linky!

Have a great evening!

Joan said...

I had no idea Florida had so many horses. That is amazing. They always make for good pictures and this is one.

Joy said...

Pretty horse.
My dad use to own and operate a fish farm in So. Hillsborough County. We had a horse named Candy.
That is a pretty horse there and I love the moss hanging from the tree in the background.


Lori Skoog said...

Frank... I did not know that you were a horse person! Thanks for mentioning my Journal in your post. Great shot of the paint, and I am very impressed with the statistics you gave us about horses in Florida.

As usual, I appreciate all your generous comments.

Floral Friday said...

Unless of course the name of this horse is Mr. Ed. Lots of horses here in WA as well I have owned many in my life. Now we only have one little paint mare that our daughters share and she was a rescue.

Don and Krise said...

Wonderful informative post Frank. I had no idea the impact the horse business has on Florida. You know I thought he looked pretty cooperative. Now I know why. He was being bribed. Hey, whatever works.

Lois said...

So glad you got him to pose for you Frank! My great uncle had a ranch near Feldsmere and I remember him always wearing a cowboy hat when he came to visit us.