Meet Melon - a Virtual Horse

My virtual horse's name is Melon. (She's named for her canter - lope.)

You are invited to play with Melon. Use your computer mouse to help us train her to walk and stop. Brush her coat, and feed her an apple.

Just be careful. She might byte.



Want to groom a horse? Check out these helpful horsey how-to's:

Making a Grand Prix Entrance: Preparing Your Horse for a Show

Tress for Success (Braiding Your Horse for a Show)

You may also enjoy: Low Maintenance - A Poetic Presuming on Personal Grooming.

How about feeding treats to horses?

Read this first: Thanks for Sharing: What Foods Can You Share with Your Horse?

Happy horsing around!

What is Hippotherapy?

What is hippotherapy?

The American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. (AHA, Inc.) defines hippotherapy as "physical, occupational and speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement."

According to the American Hippotherapy Association, "Hippotherapy has been shown to improve muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, motor development as well as emotional well-being."

"Hippo" comes from the Greek word for horse.

Of course, any horse lover knows that hippotherapy does not apply only to those facing special needs or physical challenges. To the rest of us, hippotherapy is the healing we may receive simply by spending time with a horse.

What melts stress away more than the view from the top of a favorite mount?

Photo c2009 by Nickers and Ink.
All rights reserved.

Photo prompts:

Camera Critters (photo/s)

Odd Shots (photo/s – odd shots)

Scenic Sunday (photo/s)

Sunday Stills (photo/s)

Thursday Challenge (photo/s)

Weekend Snapshot (photo/s)

Wordless Wednesday (photo/s)


Summer Swim

Summer Swim

Here in the Midwest of the United States, we have had a strange summer so far. Lots of rain and cooler weather have hidden our trails with overgrowth. Still, the horses have been quite comfortable with the milder summer. In addition, the herds around here have gained a few extra watering holes.

And the mud. Oh, the mud!

These two old friends inspired a few lines, as they cooled themselves in a storm-made pond. Because of their puddle plodding, Cloud and Albert have been fondly tagged “The Dirty White Boys.”

Photo c2009 by Nickers and Ink.

All rights reserved.

A Daily Dip

What summer sport may more joy bear

Than puddle plodding, mud to wear?

These four-star friends may munch and muse

And splish and splash and standing snooze.

Their lifelines have been etched in white,

Two decades plus without a fight.

What other pair may boast the same –

No bickering or passing blame?

Though fetlock scratches may appear,

They fret it not, companions dear.

As younger equines run and romp,

They swish their tails and simply stomp.

The virile herd may spook and shy,

But these pale gents don’t bat an eye.

For they have witnessed so much more.

Perhaps they’ve seen it all before.

c2009 by Linda Ann Nickerson

Posted for a variety of prompts:

Easy Street Prompts (“lifelines)

Heads or Tails (“where” or “wear”)

Meme Express (four star)

Simply Snickers (“munch,” “muse” and “myself”)

Photo prompts:

Camera Critters (photo/s)

Odd Shots (photo/s – odd shots)

Scenic Sunday (photo/s)

Sunday Stills (photo/s)

Thursday Challenge (photo/s)

Watery Wednesday (photo/s)

Weekend Snapshot (photo/s)

Wordless Wednesday (photo/s)

Love poetry? Check out Simply Snickers, a brand-new weekly poetry prompt. Try your hand with weekly prompts! Or, look into The Meme Express for daily blogging prompts.

Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

Throughout 2009, please join us at The Heart of a Ready Writer, a Bible reading and devotional blog, as we read through the entire Bible in chronological order.

Click here to subscribe to an RSS feed for this writer's helpful Helium content. If you wish, click here for a free subscription to this author's online AC content, so you won't miss a single post!

Add to Technorati Favorites


Wisconsin Equestrians

Having recently accepted a position as Milwaukee Equestrian Examiner (for an online news source), I am now posting regular features and news articles on that site.

Although the focus of each article will generally contain at least an element of local interest (to Milwaukee and Wisconsin), much of the content may also prove interesting and applicable to equestrians and horse lovers in other areas.

The Mane Point invites readers to peruse recent postings. (CTRL-click the image to open the page in a new window.)

Why not subscribe to the Milwaukee Equestrian Examiner? If you do subscribe, you will receive email alerts each time I publish something new.

If you have equestrian events, news items, press releases or other information to share (with interest located within a day's drive of the Milwaukee area) with the Milwaukee Equestrian Examiner, please let me know.

I am hoping to publish news, event reports, horse book and movie reviews, equestrian professional profiles, horse lover product reviews, tack store profiles, horsey how-to's and much more. Various equestrian disciplines will be included.



Shopping with Horses?

You've heard of "a bull in a china shop."

But have you ever taken your horse shopping with you? No, I don't mean tying the reins to a hitching post outside.

These folks actually invited horses into the shop. Have you seen this ad from Milwaukee's Caesar's Pet Shop? Interestingly, Caesar's Pet Shop offers items for dogs and cats, but perhaps not horses. Maybe they are planning to expand their product offerings to items of equine interest.

Gee. Giddy up, and go shopping? Never say "neigh."


National Farrier's Week

National Farrier's Week

The Blacksmith's Shop
by Richard Ansdell

19th Century

Let's give the smithy a shout-out. It's National Farrier's Week in the United States.

Who's your farrier? Have you thanked your farrier lately for all that back-breaking work, caring for your horses' hooves in all sorts of weather, all year round? What are some creative ways to express appreciation for a fine farrier, especially during National Farrier's Week?

Farrier at Work
Public Domain Image

Or do you trim your horses' hooves yourself?

Does your horse wear shoes? Pads? Or does he go barefoot?

Do you have a humorous or informative story to share about your own farrier? Why not post it on your own blog during National Farrier Week? Be sure to double back to The Mane Point to leave a blog-link comment to your National Farrier Week post.

Here's a fun tee we found at Canter Banter, especially created for those of us whose horses seem to drop their horseshoes all too often. (Our thoroughbred, for example, is the ultimate Cinderella horse.) Click the image for more information.

Happy Farrier's Week!


A Man-Eating Horse?

What was the scariest feature of the 2009 Great Circus Parade, held in Milwaukee on Sunday, July 12?

Milwaukee's "Today's TMJ4" picked up my photo. (CTRL-click the photo-link to view TMJ-4.)

Related Items of Interest:

Great Circus Parade Returns to Milwaukee Once More
After a six-year break, the Great Circus Parade was back in full color on Sunday, July 12, 2009. The Great Circus Parade returned to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with fancy feathered headpieces, amazing animals, magical music and clowns - lots of clowns.

2009 Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Slideshow

Circus fans and parade lovers crowded the streets of Milwaukee on Sunday, July 12, 2009, to view the Great Circus Parade. Previously an annual event, the Great Circus Parade had not appeared for the past six years.


Singing Horses

We have to thank our friends at The Natural Horse Vet for exposing us to the hilarious singing horses.

Click on each horse to create equine harmony.


Can the herd in the pasture create such harmony? "Yay" or "Neigh"?

Be sure to check out The Natural Horse Vet for equine health information, breed histories, horsey publications and more.

Hair's a Story for Ya

Hair's a Story for Ya -

This video is not exactly brand-new, but it surely fits on The Mane Point.

Have you seen this one? If not, enjoy the artistic equine stylings of Australian photographer Julian Wolkenstein. Here's the actual television broadcast news report, including an interview with Wolkenstein and pictures of his unusual equine photographs.



Of course, the rest of us may opt for more traditional equine grooming:

Tress for Success (Braiding Your Horse for a Show)
Braiding is part of preparing to show a horse. Clean, neat braids greatly enhance the appearance of the entire horse, particularly his neck. Judges examine the entire package, horse and rider, and good grooming may spell extra respect and points in the show ring. Here'sd hows to achieve that show-ready appearance that can put you in the winner's circle.


Bulls, Broncs or Bareback?

Have you ever competed in a rodeo?
How about dreaming of competing in a rodeo?

Photo c2009 by Nickers and Ink.
All rights reserved.

My friend Jennifer Walker has published a pair of helpful guides to popular rodeo events.

CTRL-click here to read "A Guide to Rodeo Riding Events: Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bareback Riding."

CTRL-click here to read "
A Guide to Popular Gymkhana Events: Barrel Racing, Pole Bending and Keyhole Race."

It is, after all, the week of the famous Calgary Stampede.

Related Items of Interest:

It's a Wild Ride: A Poetic Tribute to the Rodeo Cowboy
The rodeo is in his blood; he loves the dust, the fight, the mud. The bronc may buck and jump and spit; the cowboy never thinks to quit. He'll hold on tight and count to six, for this is how he gets his kicks.

His Perfect Passion - The Real Cowboy
What is it like to love a cowboy? Can a wild West heart ever be tamed? Perhaps peril is his perfect passion.

A Cowboy's Name - a Poetic Song on a Love Lifelong
His leather face, his steely arms, What woman could resist his charms? His mustang spirit none could tame, And now she'll only wear his name.

Olympic Dreams - A Limericked Lament for a Western Event
Equestrians compete for Olympic medals in dressage, jumping and eventing. What would it be like, if the Olympics offered Western equestrian disciplines as well? Cowboys and cowgirls: saddle up for some Olympic-sized fun!


Celebrating American Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!
If you are American, how will you celebrate today? Will you gather with friends and family members for a patriotic picnic? Take a trail ride? Fire up the barbecue grill? Host a corn roast? Look up at fireworks?

However you mark the occasion of American independence, may you enjoy a safe and festive Fourth of July.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.
from The Mane Point


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