WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #86
THE DIARY HAS COME TO AND END BUT IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE
CONCERNING THE HORSE WILL CONTINUE
Horses in Winter (from a local horse store paper in Calgary)
A healthy horse can withstand temperatures well below freezing as
long as it is sunny and the air is still. The winter coat absorbs
heat from the sun and the horse's body traps it next to the skin.
During cold temperatures, pilo erector muscles make the hair
stand up which increases the coat's insulating potential. Wind
separates the hairs, thereby breaking the heat seal which results
in a great loss of body warmth ( thus the need for good
Snow showers, sleet, and the freeze-and-thaw typical of our
chinooks are particularly hard on horses. A wet hair coat
conducts heat away from the horse many times faster than
a dry hair coat. In addition, wet hair tends to become plastered
close to the horse's body, nullifying the air insulation
potential of a fuzzy, erect winter coat.
A horse with a long winter coat should receive minimal grooming -
a rudimentary "dusting off" or vacuuming of the hair ends.
Vigorously currying a winter coat can disrupt the natural
protective layer of oils which is essential for protection from
moisture. After riding, rub the coat dry with a cloth or gunny
sack or allow the horse to roll in sand or dry snow.
No new breed
Not a mysterious breed of horse after all.... German scientists
have solved the puzzling mystery of what was thought to be proof
of a new kind of horse found among the ruins of Pompeii.
The 2,000-year-old skeleton had prompted questions not only about
the history and development of horse breeds, but also of human
development, as the two are considered intimately connected.
But now genetic scientists at the University of Munster have
confirmed the confusing new breed of horse was, in fact, a
"The mistake arose because the skeleton of the donkey was found
next to those of four horses," said Peter Forster, from Munster
University's Institute oś Forensic Genetics.
"It would seem that some of the horse DNA got mixed up with the
remains of the donkey."
This has created relief among historians and archaeologists, who
were having to rethink a number of theories.
The supposed new breed of horse found at Pompeii had thus caused
great confusion and its outing as a donkey, corresponding relief.
To be continued