Monthly Archives: June 2012

Just for Grins – “It must be the water”

It Must Be The Water. Vittel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys standing by horses at starting gate

The clever and funny TV commercial advertisement titled ‘Horse Riding’ was done by Ogilvy & Mather Paris advertising agency for Vittel Water in France. It was released in December 2009. Race horses love to run, but what horse might not like to take it easy once in awhile. Jockeys drink some Vittel water before the race and horse racing takes on a whole different method.

Vittel is a French brand of bottled water sold in many countries. Since 1992 it has been owned by Nestlé Waters, Water Division of the Swiss group Nestlé.

The Vosges basin in France is home to several sources of natural mineral water. The city of Vittel , thanks to the virtues of its natural mineral water, is also a city of thermal baths. Louis Bouloumié in 1855 created a health spa in the city of Vittel, then later the natural mineral water was bottled.  It belonged to the founding family, the Bouloumié, for four generations.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys preparing for race with horses on their backs

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs to race


Video length: 32 seconds
“Pub Vittel: la course hippique” – Horse race
Uploaded by  on Sep 7, 2009

There are a series of “It Must Be the Water” ads, which are all very funny. They are on the same Youtube channel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs for race come to finish line

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockey of brown horse is the winner

Vittel Water advertisement: Proud jockey with flowers around his neck holds his racing trophy of a "man carrying horse"

A longer version of the advertisement at these 2 sites:
Video length: 1:00 minute
Autoplay site: http://www.funnyplace.org/stream/vittel-race-13602/
Non-autoplay site: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/tv/vittel_horse_riding

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, France
Copywriters: Christian Foulon,, Fergus O’hare, Andrew Jolliffe
Art directors: Stephanie Surer, Ginevra Capece
Director: Lionel Goldstein
Production: Henry de Czar, Paris
Post-production company: Nozon
Editor: Manu Van Hove Agency
Producer: Caroline Petruccelli
Executive Producer: Jeanluc Bergeron
Director of Photography: Glynn Speeckaert
Sound Design: Kouz Production

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Clipping Icelandic horses in Spring

Icelandics in Texas ==> Clipping Icelandic horses

My Icelandic horses in early March started shedding their long winter coats amidst the singing birds and blooming flowers heralding the coming of Spring in north Texas. Icelandic horses winter coats were not intended for our mild winters. Their winter coat was between 2 – 4 inches long. Slow natural shedding could take over a month. Using shedding tools speeds up the process, but clipping is the fastest way to remove the excess hair.

Every horse clipping explanation that I have read says to use a #10 blade for a body clip. This cuts the hair at 1/16 inch or 1.6 mm. The face, ears, and legs may be clipped even shorter. Dogs, on the other hand, are clipped at varying lengths depending on breed and fashion. There are many blade lengths available for clippers. The #T84 blade (3/32 inch, 2.4 mm) is an extra wide blade commonly used to clip horses.

Andis clipper blades

Spring rains and warmer temperatures bring out the mosquitoes. A female mosquito bites through the skin using a special straw-like proboscis to get blood. They need the blood to be able to make their mosquito eggs. The bite is nearly undetectable, but the after effects can cause an immune response raising welts with itching. Bangsi is particularly sensitive to insect bites.

Besides the irritation that can cause severe scratching, mosquitoes are vectors for several illnesses. Texas horses can be vaccinated against Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis, plus the West Nile virus that also affects humans.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are common in north Texas.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito by Sean McCann on Flickr (Creative Commons)

The horses longer winter hair was a definite help in avoiding mosquito bites on their body and even their lower legs. The mosquitoes could not easily penetrate and bite past the long hair. They would land and crawl around looking for a place to bite, but unable to find a spot. The only places the mosquitoes seemed to be able to bite were the face and sheath. The mosquitoes would line up around the eyes and along the cheek bones at dusk and dawn. I smeared those areas with SWAT repellant ointment. Letting horses have a place to stay inside at dusk and dawn, plus a fan to blow on them, can also help lower the bites.

How long is a mosquito proboscis?

Mosquitoes are slender and relatively small insects, usually measuring about 3–6 mm in length. Some species, however, can be as small as 2 mm while others may be as long as 19 mm. (1)

“most of the commonest mosquitoes have the proboscis 0.1 – 0.14 inches (2.5-3.5 mm) long and half or even 2/3 of it is usually inserted in victim’s body” (2)

Small mosquitoes have a proboscis up to 2 millimeters long; in medium-sized mosquitoes the proboscis is 2-3 mm; in large mosquitoes it is greater than 3 mm. (3)

Clipping with a #10 blade (1/16 inch) could leave them more vulnerable to mosquito bites. The difference in hair length to be slightly cooler wouldn’t be enough benefit, particularly so early in the Spring. The #10 blade length is shorter than their natural summer coat.

The ideal clip length would balance cutting their hair shorter to help them be cooler while leaving their hair long enough to lessen mosquitos bites. Last year I experimented using snap-on combs over #10 blade for different lengths of cut, but the combs left more streaks in their coat. A blade cuts more smoothly and evenly with less effort, but does require purchase of extra blades.

I clipped their coats at 1/4 inch (6.3 mm) using a #5FC blade. The #5FC is an even clip while the #5 blade has a skip tooth cutting edge.

Andis A-5 #10 clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5FC clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5 clipper blade

The 1/4 inch clip length would be longer than a mosquito proboscis, which would lessen the likelihood of a Texas mosquito penetrating through their hair to their skin. The extra hair length would also provide them a bit more protection in case of an unusual cold snap or cold wet rain while still helping make them more comfortable and cooler in the warming weather. The longer length would make a blanket unnecessary in our Texas climate for our Icelandic horses, even with a Spring cold snap. I only clipped above the knee leaving their longer hair on the cannon bones to shed out naturally for extended mosquito protection.

Bangsi needed no further clipping later in the Spring to finish shedding his coat. I clipped Twistur again in late March using the #5 blade for most of his body, but used a #10 on his neck, chest, and around his head. He really enjoyed having the hair trimmed off shorter on his head and under his mane. Twistur’s coat re-grows and is a different thickness and texture than Bangsi’s. This maybe a symptom of some insulin resistance.

Next year I may clip them heading into winter to more closely mimic the coat length of a typical Texas Quarter horse in our area. Their 4 inch hair is too long for our winters, though I do love their fuzzy unique look.

A-5 Clipper Blade Inch Millimeter
#40 1/100 0.25
#50 1/125 0.2
#30 1/5 0.5
#15 3/64 1.2
#10 1/16 1.5
#9 5/64 2.0
Blocking blade 5/64 2.0
T84 3/32 2.4
#8.5 7/64 2.8
#7 1/8 3.2
T24 4.0
#6 3/16 4.8
#5 1/4 6.3
#4 3/8 9.5
#3 1/2 13.0

References:
– 1 inch = 25 mm

– “A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects” – Mosquito: Agrilife Extension: Entymology, Texas A&M System

– Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Division of Vector Borne Disease, West Nile Virus

– “Mosquitoes and the Diseases They Transmit“, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System

(1) “Introduction to mosquitoes (Culicidae)” by Cambridge University Press 052154775X – Medical Entomology for Students, Third Edition – Mike W. Service (Excerpt)

(2) Mosquito bite questions

(3) “The Determination of Mosquito Females by Microscopic Preparations of the Head” in “Mosquito Systematics” VOL. 6(4) 1974 by A. V. Gutsevich, Zoological Institute, Leningrad

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Liberty & bridleless (Alegria)

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo


PRE Spanish gelding, Contigo, working at liberty and bridleless with Delphine Boonkens. She does clinics and shows (spectacles équestres) in Europe with her horses and little dog.

Video length: 4 minutes 42 seconds
Music: “Alegria” by Cirque de Soleil
Uploaded by  on Oct 28, 2007

French language website: http://www.delphineboonkens.com/

Her former website with good photos of her horses:
http://spectacle-equestre.skynetblogs.be/

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

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Just for Grins – Horse loves his hammock

The dark colored Andalusian foal, Amoroso, hangs over a hammock and scratches himself.

Little Amoroso, an Andalusian foal, has seen humans in the hammock. Getting up there turned out to be too difficult, but maybe it can be used for scratching? The little horse loves his hammock.

Warning: Cuteness overload!

Video length: 3 minutes 3 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jun 14, 2010

http://www.ellenofstad.com/  (website in Norwegian Bokmål language)

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Polocrosse – Wednesday Music video

Wednesday Music video featuring 2011 USA World Cup Polocrosse Squad | Me And My Gang

Video length: 3 minutes 38 seconds
Polocrosse Exhibition match at the Las Colinas Polo and International Sports Club in Irving, TX.

Music: “Me and My Gang” by Rascal Flatts
Uploaded by  on May 12, 2010

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr - child playing

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Polocrosse is played on horseback and is a combination of polo, lacrosse and netball.  A team consists of six players, divided into two sections of three who play alternate chukkas of eight minutes each, usually 4 chukkas comprise a full match.  Each rider uses a cane stick made up of a polo stick shaft with a squash racquet type head with a loose twisted-thread net. The ball is carried in the stick’s net. The ball is made of thick- skinned sponge rubber and is approximately four inches across. Unlike polo, players are allowed only to play one horse, except in the case of injury.  Players can pick up the ball from the ground, catch it in their racquet, and ride with it, and toss it to other players.

Polocrosse looks like a blast. I like that in Australia it is a family sport and played by young and old.

 Polocrosse on Flickr by Kenski1970

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Wikipedia – Polocrosse

Polocrosse Worldwide

The Polocrosse Association of Australia, Inc.

The American Polocrosse Association

Watching some polocrosse on Youtube convinced me that Australian saddles were very good for helping hold you in the saddle, which is one of the reasons that I bought one.

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“Boten Anna”: Hanging out with Jarpur, the young Icelandic horse

“Are you ready?” It’s time for another Wednesday music video.

A young lady in Denmark spends time hanging out with her Icelandic horse, Jarpur.

Video length: 4 minutes 48 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jul 17, 2006

Music: “Boten Anna” (“Anna the Bot”) is a song by Swedish eurodance musician Jonas Erik Altberg. He is better known by his stage name ” Basshunter “.

The Swedish lyrics of Boten Anna tell the story of a female IRC chat user mistaken for an IRC bot by the vocalist who later finds out the truth; subsequently, however, he states that she will always remain a bot in his eyes. The song is based on an actual experience of Jonas Erik Altberg.

An IRC bot is a set of scripts or an independent program that connects to Internet Relay Chat as a client, and so appears to other IRC users as another user.

His friend said he would create a bot with administrative capabilities to keep order in his channel, #BassHunter.se; when this happened Jonas saw a new user with administrative capabilities named Anna enter the channel, and naturally thought this was the bot. Months later, he learned that Anna was actually not a bot, but was his friend’s girlfriend; the embarrassment, he says, inspired him to create the song.

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boten_Anna

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Just for Grins – Fun with ponies

Die Gummibären-Bande: Three friends are having fun with ponies. Ah… youth! Meike and Till, Hannah and Zwiebel, Annka and Tomte with their friend, Laura, on camera. Meike lives in Germany.

Video length: 1 minute 7 seconds
Uploaded by  on Feb 22, 2011

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