Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Do horses like bananas?

Horses will eat bananas - and bananas are good for them too (horses need potassium as much as we do). Unlike us, though, horses don't peel their bananas - horses will, and should, eat the skin too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Do horses like potatoes?

Actually, potatoes aren't a good thing to feed horses. Green and raw potatoes are poisonous (The toxin, solanine, is destroyed by cooking, at least in the tuber part). Potatoes are also likely to get stuck causing choke. Finally, potatoes are too starchy for horses - they can make them fat.

Solanine poisoning can cause excitability, decreased heart rate and respiration, gastric problems, convulsions, muscle weakness and coordination difficulties. So, no potatoes. Especially not uncooked.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Do horses like pumpkins?

Yes - albeit as an occasional treat and with the seeds removed. So, come Halloween... (Horses actually like most kinds of squash).

Friday, August 11, 2017

Were there black cowboys?

Because this has come up a few times in my hearing lately.

Yes, there absolutely were. In fact, the estimate is that one in four cowboys was, in fact, African-American. So, how did that happen?

There were a few ways, but the major one was that during the Civil War, a lot of whites went to fight...and left their slaves to tend the cattle. The slaves developed the skills and then once they were free took jobs as skilled hands.

And they found that the cowboys didn't care. White, black, Hispanic, Native American - as long as you could do the job. It only lasted for the era of mass cattle drives and the black cowboys have been mostly erased from history, pushed out of rodeos (although many black riders compete now, they were excluded for a while) and forgotten. But if you're writing westerns or weird west - remember, there were plenty of black faces under those hats.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Can horses eat wood?

Certainly, quite a few of them think they can. Chewing wood is a problem and I've encountered horses and mules who will eat bare twigs. It doesn't really do them a lot of harm...or a lot of good either, as even they can't really digest it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why are not all horses kept on straw bedding?

If you read anything about horses, they'll talk about using straw for bedding - and often say it's the best. Why doesn't everyone use it?

The answer is because while most horses find straw unpalatable, some will cheerfully chow down on it. And they're always the ones you're trying to keep from getting fat. Always.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Do horses like pasta?

Yes. Preferably uncooked. Some horses will absolutely do anything for it. Just uncooked pasta (says something about how different their senses were.