This Week in Horses – November 28, 2014

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    Welcome to the weekend, everyone! Here’s what was going on in the horse world this week while you were cooking Thanksgiving food, eating Thanksgiving food, napping off a Thanksgiving food coma and/or standing in line for Black Friday deals.

    • Speaking of napping, have you seen this video of a horse who has supposedly learned to get out of work by lying down and playing dead every time someone goes to mount up? Stacy Westfall provides a pretty good explanation of how this may be a trained—or inadvertently trained—behavior over in her blog.
    • The Budweiser Clydesdales were in the news earlier this week when reports suggested
      the company was doing away with the iconic hitch
      in their holiday and Super Bowl advertising. Not so, says Budweiser. They’ve even released one of the Clydesdales’ holiday spots on YouTube.
    • More barn fires, more heartbreak. More than 30 horses died in a fire at Valley View Acres, a hunter/jumper barn near Chicago last weekend. New Vintage Farm of Woodstock, Georgia, also a hunter/jumper barn, lost at least a dozen horses in a fire on Thanksgiving Day.
    • If you’re reading this before Sunday, your vote can help a Chicago-area teacher win a grant to build an indoor arena to house the therapeutic riding program at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.
    • Last week we talked about how great police horses are. This confused drunk guy apparently didn’t read our article before heading to the Portland Police Horse stables and releasing five horses.
    • If you don’t already smell like the barn all the time, a New York based perfume company can help. The Library of Fragrence offers equine scents like saddle, fresh hay and riding crop (what does a riding crop smell like?)
    • Queen Elizabeth, a well-known equestrian enthusiast, received a lifetime achievement award from the FEI this week. FEI President Princess Haya presented the Queen with a custom white gold and diamond brooch as a symbol of the honor. While there’s something sort of uncomfortable about seeing a princess give a queen an absurdly decadent piece of jewelry in the name of our perceived-as-elitist sport, it is nice to see Her 88-Year-Old Majesty still riding and enjoying equestrian events. It’s a deserved honor.
    • And finally, with Thanksgiving over, the Christmas season is unofficially, officially here. The first family received the White House Christmas tree today, delivered by horse-drawn carriage. Sunny really wanted to get a closer sniff of those fuzzy draft horse feet, I think.

    That’s it for this week. Good luck with your holiday shopping (just get everyone a bag of carrots, I say.)

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    Follow Leslie on Twitter: @LeslieInLex

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