Horseshoes and a Short Short Story!
This is an old horseshoe that was given to me by a dear friend and hangs by our back door.
This is the door we use when we come and go to the barn, and leads to our utility/mud room.
We're sure that this horseshoe brings us luck.
Did you know that if it was up the other way, all the luck would fall out?!
Our horses don't all wear horseshoes. The two retired broodmares haven't worn shoes since they retired from racing many years ago.
Horses' hooves grow (like our finger and toe nails do), so they are trimmed regularly by a trained farrier.
Before our three-year-old racehorse, I'm Dashing, came home for his winter break from the racetrack, the farrier removed all his shoes. He doesn't need them at home since he isn't training or racing. He's enjoying a pleasant vacation in the field.
There are many different kinds of horseshoes, and it's amazing what a farrier can do to help a horse with foot problems. For example, if the hoof wall is weak and won't support nails, they can glue a shoe on.
It is critically important for racehorses to have the correct shoes and that they are fitted properly.
Shoe problems can lead to lameness and injury.
Farriers are important and valued members of the team that looks after our horses!
Now for the short short story.
This is a departure from my mysteries.
It was written during an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting. We had ten minutes to write something - anything.
This is what poured out (I didn't come up with a title!):
Margo couldn't wait to meet her cousin, Belle. She'd not seen her before, only in photos on Instagram that made her look like some kind of supermodel.
When Margo first heard the news of Belle's visit, she was certain she'd feel inadequate beside such a slender beauty, and decided it was time for a make-over. She had one month to lose ten pounds, get a new wardrobe, have highlights put in her hair, and find the latest make-up.
Margo soon became overwhelmed by all the choices, not only by the number of different diets (all guaranteed to work), but by the myriad of different hair colours and styles, the variety of fashions and types of dress: smart casual or just casual, of top-of-the-line trendy?
It took three weeks of intensive work and worry, along with sleepless nights, for Margo to decide she was going to have to meet Belles as she was. She couldn't change. She bought a few new clothes and had some highlights put in her hair, but that's where she drew the line.
Belle walked towards her, but Margo didn't recognize her at first. She was about fifteen pounds heavier and her hair was dead straight. Her legs were chunky. But she had the warmest smile and the warmest embrace.
Belle noticed Margo's slight hesitation and puzzlement and told her not to believe everything she saw on Instagram; it's amazing what wonderful photoshop programs are available.
PS I have started to think about a possible 5th book in the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series, and am collecting ideas.
If you haven't read the first four, they're now available as e-books and in paperback through Amazon.