Back | Home | Up | Next


Horsemen's Voice Newsletter 04-25-04

January 22, 2004

In this issue

A Lighter Take on Fugitive Dust

Barometric Pressure and Colic

Long term effects of West Nile Virus

PMU Mares arriving this weekend

Fun Things to do January 24 - February 1


A Lighter Take on Fugitive Dust


I thought I would give you a break from all of the serious Fugitive Dust stuff and start with a lighter take on it. This is from a friend of mine in Kansas.

Mr. Jay,

Don't know nothin bout no horses, but do know somethin bout dust. Seems it happens here in southwest Kansas, too, and since the Oglalla's bout dried up, it'll happen more and more. I don't much fancy it in my teeth, neither, but it sure beats the poop outta feedlot and slaughterhouse stinks, which we have a lot more of than dust. Though I gotta admit, sometimes the burnt blood smells kinda like hamburger, if'n it catches yer stomach in the right hungry mood.

Back when I dwellt in New Mexicy, seems to me that there weren't no fugitive dusts. We damn well knew all them dusts came from Grants and Gallup. Can't very well be fugitive if'n you know where it's from and where it's headed and where it is when it gets there. Sounds more like housebroke dust to me.

Now fugitive tumbleweeds is another, much more serious matter. I like the whole idea of chargin' folks for lettin' their tumbleweeds roam about on the lam. You ever seen one of the big boys tracking you at a cutoff angle comin' across a field next the highway, lookin' like it knows exactly how and when it's gonna get there to smack you upside yer vehicle at seventy or so, then you know all about fugitivity. Damn sceery, it is. And then they pile up around the doors and take to rustlin' and scrapin', and it's almost like they're whisperin'. It's enough to set yer hair on edge, it is. Seen a hunderd of em come up at once out of a barditch like they was runnin' some kind of WWI trench attack, you begin to wonderin' if they ain't all communicatin' somehow. That thought'll send a grown man to the kill floor fer sure.


Anyways, sure do like readin' yer writin', whether it's about horses or dust or women.  Sounds like yer quite capable of gettin' yerself in deep with women.  Some of us's got a talent fer that, I figure.


Kansas Bill

Yup, Bill, I do seem to get my women-folk readers kinda riled up sometimes. Specially them ones that watch football. Go figure.


Here's the real sceery part: Kansas Bill teaches English composition to unsuspecting junior college students in southwest Kansas. I hope they at least have spell checkers on their computers up there. Bill lives in a town that has a big meat packing plant, so that explains his reference to burnt blood smells.


In case you was wunderin'. 


I'm driving to Kansas in the morning, and will stop by Kansas Bill's house tomorrow afternoon. He promised me he would have a cold brew ready for me. After I gave him a hard time here tonight maybe all I'll get is a cold shoulder. I jes hope he don't take me to that there that meat plant.


Barometric Pressure and Colic


Janie Enter sent me a note last week asking for help from you, Dear Readers. She poses an interesting question.

Ceilidh colicked last night.  It was a classic case, when it presented itself, much to my dismay.  I will present the facts and then ask for input from your illustrious and knowledgeable group.


We live at 7500 feet, where the oxygen content is up to 25% less than at sea level and air pressure is also much less.  Ceilidh and Tabasco are both 2003 PMU foals, and have been comfortably settled in since mid October. 


I am free feeding hay, which is mostly grass (couldn't get straight alfalfa this year), with a scoop of Junior Equine divided between them twice a day.  They are also receiving beet pulp, hydrated, and have ready access to plain and mineral salt blocks.  And, of course they have easy access to clean water.  According to my vet this is a fine diet for them.  When it gets cold, I add a dollop of corn oil to their mix.  Nothing has changed in their diets, etc. 


They both were a bit jazzed up yesterday, with the low pressure system approaching, but nothing out of the ordinary.  The low pressure system dropped the pressure 1.5 inches very quickly.  Then about 6 hours later Ceilidh was colicking. My physicist significant other is convinced that it is the rapidly approaching major low pressure systems that caused Ceilidh to colic.  He reminded me that one of my older guys colicked, for no apparent reason, as another rapidly approaching, major low pressure system passed through. 


We are currently gathering input from others in the stable area (about 150 horses) to see if any of their horses are affected in this way.  My vet thinks the large, rapid low pressure drop causing colic is a "bit far fetched", but we are not the first to mention it to him. 


My three questions to this group are:

    1.  What is your experience with low pressure systems and colic?

    2.  What do you think of the "theory"?

    3.  What can I do to run interference for this potential problem?


Feel free to email your responses to me at





So, how about it, Gang? Anyone have any comments or anecdotes to add to Janie's observations? Sure, you can send notes right to Janie, but if you would send them my way, too, ( I can share them with everyone else.


Also, I bet you are wondering how to pronounce the name of Janie's foal. It's pronounced "Tuh-BASS-ko".


The other one, Ceilidh is pronounced "Kay-lee", which is Gaelic for "party" or "dance." Why do al of thes forin languages have al thes words with al thes silent leters that don't contribut to the sound of the words? It must be tuf to read thru languages lik that. Ther ot to be a law.


And speaking of silent letters, how would you spell the past tense of "colic"? One way would be "coliced", which didn't look quite right to me. I added a "k" to make it "colicked", and that didn't look right either. My spell checker flagged both of them. To me, the first one looks like "co-liced," maybe meaning something like "they both got bugs". But the other looks like "co-licked", meaning "they both got slobbered on." In my extensive research on this matter (ten minutes on Google looking up definitions in on-line dictionaries), I couldn't find any of these dictionaries that would tell me the past tense of this verb. (I think in the old days, people used to actually get up and go across the room and look up things like this a big book called a "dictionary." I wonder it that is where they got that term "on-line dictionary" from?) So, I just did a Google search on "coliced" and "colicked". There were 340 hits for the first one and 499 for the second. If we decide how to spell words by internet voting, I guess I would go with the second one. But, I did choose the second one because "colicked" was referenced in places like,, and other people who probably should know. Besides, my editor, Nancy, told me to spell it that way.


Forget research on colic. This research on spelling is a lot more fun.


And speaking of women who watch football and I have a talent to annoy (OK, so that was a while ago, but, trust me, I'll bring it back around), Ginger Gaffney (who has some extra silent letters of her own) was telling me that she likes basketball better than football because it is more graceful and beautiful. I just told her that she doesn't know how to see the beauty parts because of all the hitting parts. Ginger allows that she likes to watch Bret Favre. That's fine with me, but the real question is, "Why does Bret pronounce his name 'Farve'?" (This question coming from a guy who's last name is 'Koch', but he pronounces it 'Cook'). And speaking of weird spelling of names, there is an anchor on KOB-TV whose name is Lauren Przybyl. Her name is pronounced "Priz-bul". First off, I think Lauren should ask Pat Sajak (no extra letters, there) if she could buy a vowel or two. But, just like Bret, they seem to come from long lines of dyslexics. Their vowels and consonants are all mixed up.


The concert master of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra is Krzysztof Zimowski. Believe it or not, his first name is pronounced "Shishtof". I guess in Polish you take all of the consonants you want and just say "Shhh".


Well, Kansas Bill, I can annoy my female readers, and now I've probably annoyed my Polish readers. It's enough to make me colicccckkkky.


Long term effects of West Nile Virus


Now that spring is around the corner, and we have to start worrying about West Nile Virus again, I read an article on ( about the long term health of survivors of WNV. According to a study by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, many horses that survive the virus have neurological deficits. These deficits range from abnormal gaits to changes in personality. The study even mentions memory loss in at least one horse that would forget where he was or where he should go. Relapses are a problem, too. One recovering horse was getting agitated watching his hitch-mates getting ready to work. His owner hitched him up and let him go on a brief walk, but the horse had a relapse and had to be put down the next day.


Dr Julia Wilson says that before a recovered horse is put back to work he should be checked thoroughly by a vet.

"Please help me to convince clients to evaluate the horses before they try and get back on them," she said.

PMU Mares arriving this weekend


A truck load of 22 pregnant PMU mares will be arriving at our house this weekend. They will be leaving Alberta Friday morning and should arrive here around midnight Saturday night. Anyone want to come join the fun? It should a completely different experience from having the foals shipped down here.


Fun Things to Do  January 24 - February 1


I suppose some of you football fans out there noticed that I got the date of the SuperBowl wrong last week, eh?




31 Feb 1            ELLIE STINE-MASEK NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP & DRESSAGE CLINIC, Las Cruces.  Info:  M. Coombs, 382-7510


31 Feb l            HUNTER JUMPER CLINIC w/Trudy Glefke, Heartlane Farm, 6730 Rio Grande NW.  Beginner, intermediate & advanced sessions.  Info:  Julie Luzicka, 345-7072


Feb 1    Superbowl




In last week's newsletter, I riffed about how I left out a couple of words in a sentence, so in my little epilog in this spot, I put this in:


"Please tell your friends about this newsletter, and have them send me an e-mail, and I'll get them signed up. Or have them sign themselves up at And be sure to tell them you referred them."


Karen Everhart asked me if I meant to make that same mistake again. I told that her it was my test to see if anyone actually read that far. Karen gets the gold star for paying attention.


505 by 2/29 update: up to 418 subscribers. Tell all you friends to sign up. And be sure to tell them... Well, you know.


Happy trails...




The above newsletter was written when Nancy Gage and Jay Koch owned The Horsemen's Voice magazine. The Horsemen's Voice name and logo are used here with permission of the new owner, Catherine Logan-Carillo, who is a fine, upstanding member of the community. Catherine disavows any silliness, stupidity, vapidity, errors, or unintentional offenses, and the reader should know that she would know better than publish anything like this.

Aside from the Horsemen's Voice name and logo, the rest of this newsletter is copyrighted by and is the full responsibility of Jay Koch. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any of this material in any form.