Just in case some of you out there think I am not paying enough attention to the home front, let me draw your attention to a few things going on around here. After all, even Obama paid attention to Canada last week.

Horse Life, for young eyes only

Equine Canada has finally crawled into the cyber age with its magazine, but alas, the EC web wizards apparently believe only those gifted with better than 20/20 vision should read it. The lay-out and page-turning feature are real groovy, but it would not be an exaggeration to call the font infinitesimal. A mouse click zooms the image; in fact, just one click of the zoom feature blows everything up so much that you can no longer see the whole page. If you are reading the text, the ads are cut off the screen. Not the best selling point for advertisers…A couple of days after the on-line version was announced with great fanfare, I received a print copy in the mail. Just as teeny-weeny as the online version. Granted, the new look is lovely, and the goal of giving Canadians a memento to remember such a milestone year as 2008 was achieved in many respects…except when it comes to font size. I was going to say that the new Horse Life was EC’s first visible improvement for 2009, but perhaps ‘in-visible’ would be more accurate. To test your eyesight, go to http://epaperflip.com/aglaia/viewer.aspx?docid=33fc9bac7f9e457d9c1a694878f8e998.

Help Jessica Phoenix Find an Ex-name

If you don’t know Jessica Phoenix, you should. She is just about the most charming, delightful and hard-working eventer I’ve met. She was also the surprise star of the Rick Mercer Report last spring when Mercer (Canada’s answer to Jon Stewart, only funnier) did a piece on the Canadian eventing team. You can get acquainted with Jessica by watching the video of that show at http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/video.html. Go to the episode for March 11, 2008. She’s the one helping Rick get acquainted with Danny the horse. Anyhoo, Jessica has a little problem that maybe you can help solve. Her top horse Exploring came to her with his name from the race track, and she thought it would be fun to keep the two first letters the same for the names of all her horses, especially since her own name ends in ‘x’. At the moment, Exploring has the following stable mates: Exponential, Exuberant, Expression, Explicit…and Morocco, who is the newest addition and needs renaming if he’s going to fit in. Feel free to post Ex-name ideas in the comments to this blog, or you can email Jessica directly by visiting her website: www.jessicaphoenix.ca. Don’t suggest Exotic. It’s already on the list.

Horse For Sale Cheap – eats too much hay

Today I am adding a new thread to this blog, one which I intend to revisit on an ongoing basis – because it’s sadly relevant these days. With slaughter being made illegal in the US and people tightening belts and purse strings, there is a growing crisis with abandoned and neglected horses. A friend pointed me to a distressing for-sale ad, which was recently posted on Craigslist. In it, a 9 year old chestnut Dutch warmblood gelding is offered at the below-meat-market price of $500. “Sadly due to finances the owner is forced to sell him as he does not easily put on weight.***Serious inquiries only***To approved home only.” Serious? Approved? In order to avoid a slander suit I have not attached the photos that were forwarded to the friend, but I can assure you that this horse’s current owner would not meet most people’s standards of an “approved home”. She describes the horse as ‘light’. He’s light all right. About 200 pounds too light, in fact. If you want to rescue, I mean buy, this horse, the ad is at http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/grd/1032791633.html

All in the (FEI) Family

Ok, I’m breaking with my Canada-Week theme, but if I don’t talk about this one international topic right now, it won’t be news any more. The FEI recently announced a new sponsor to step into the size 11 shoes left behind by Samsung in the Nations Cup jumping series: Meydan Group LLC. “Through our partnership with the FEI we will be able to share the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the wider horse sport community,” said the company’s CEO. Hang on a sec’. Is that the same Sheikh Mohammed that FEI Prez Princess Haya is married to? When I Google ‘Sheikh Mohammed Princess Haya’, I get a Wikipedia listing that confirms the relationship. According to Wikipedia (which is not to be taken as gospel of course), Princess Haya is the Sheikh’s ‘junior wife’.  I’m not passing judgement, only pointing out a connection that some of you might not figure out on your own.