T-man had a fabulous roll in the summer dust. He has perfected the roll to an art. He rolls his side, he snakes his neck, he grinds his face. His little hooves dangle awkwardly in the air as his body gyrates; to the city visitor it looks like my horse is having an epileptic fit. He spends a good minute on each side and is deliberate enough when he rolls to the side untouched to fully scratch the roots of his mane.
Watching this show brings an internal giggle, oh to be a kid in mud again, and a quick check under his face mask to see if he hurt his eye during this dramatic act.
This week he did. The eyelid did just what it is suppose to do and saved his eyeball, but it had a nice spot of nudity on it. Off with the fly mask for a couple of days ’till the hair grows back, no use tempting fate – I’d rather meet my vet at the deli for coffee than in my barn on a call.
I watched T-man go into the paddock to greet his fellow masked aliens. People stop by farms all the time to ask about why the horses are wearing these masks. Is it just for flies? I wonder.
I pondered this when I donned my own Rite-aid 2-for-the-price- of-one specials. I always feel cooler with my sunglasses on. Perhaps I’d be better to describe the feeling as “less hot.” I feel that way too when I put a brimmed hat on that shades my eyes. I don’t know if I actually am a bit less hot, but I feel that way when I’ve cut the sun’s intensity from my eyes.
I haven’t done any serious research on this, but I’m pretty sure I’ve come across literature indicating that the sun striking our retina does more than produce pictures. It stimulates chemicals in our brain. So much so that there’s a portion of the population that suffers depression with the seasonal shift of the sun and daylight hours.
If I feel “less hot” with sun glasses on, I wondered if my horse feels “less hot” with a fly mask on. I’ve wrapped it around my own face to check visibility and found a shade effect as well. I don’t know how you would even be able to check that. And there is always the question of reality in the brain. Do you THINK you feel less hot or are you REALLY less hot. And even if you think you feel less hot, can’t we control our body temperatures to some degree through meditative direction. Perhaps our eyes are telling the brain to cool down a bit. It isn’t a concept without merit.
I wonder if there are any studies on this for humans or animals. But I haven’t the time to look into it now. It’s a prime fall day and the face mask is washed. Time to put on my own sunnies and reapply T-man’s so he can be the cool dude he thinks he is.