The “G” Word

GOPHER GETTERS, ANYONE?


Amid the grime, grace and grandeur of country living, I missed a particular “g” word that’s raised it’s little head to haunt me. No, it isn’t gourmet. Not today.

I refer, of course, to gophers. Those pesky little rodents that make their appearance every spring in full furry fashion, causing havoc and burrowing holes just perfectly sized for a horse’s leg in our pastures and paddocks.

The same critters my eight-year-old still insists on calling “cute.”(What can I say, she was born in the city. . . we’re still coaxing it out of her. Apparently, it takes a community . . .)

Does anyone really know how to rid one’s land of gophers? I mean, short of gassing, drowning, poisoning or blowing up. Don’t misunderstand me, I can stand up to a rodent. I’ve proven myself more than capable of Carl the Greenskeeper moves and have been known to employ them. Against mice, that is. At the log house these are categorized not as simple pesky rodents, but vermin in the extreme.

But when it comes to gophers, I just can’t bring myself to those methods, and I have to admit, I still can’t shoot one. My neighbour does. Every spring on through summer, he’s driven his old grey gopher-hunting Dodge over and thinned out my herd. Just not this year. He must be on holidays. Or having an extended coffee break with our Hutterite neighbours. Meanwhile, the troops are multiplying. There was a group of them gathered at the end of my driveway the other day when my partner came by for a sales meeting. She AVOIDED them. (What can I say. She lives in the city. It takes a community . . .)

The truth is in all probability I would have avoided them as well. I know I shouldn’t be admitting that in this county. But I’m counting on the fact that my neighbors are out in the field, not sitting in front of their computers, enjoying a coffee with my blog. The news will take a while to reach them.

In the meantime, let’s hear your foolproof, or perhaps even foolhardy, methods of gopher control.

I leave you with the dialogue of one of my favorite Caddyshack scenes; it doesn’t involve gophers, but it’s a memorable scene in which Carl the-ultimate-gopher-getter does his own version of mentally tough visualization in his garage.

“This crowd has gone deadly silent, a Cinderella story outta nowhere. Former greenskeeper and now about to become the Masters champion . . . He’s on his final hole. He’s about 455 yards away, he’s gonna hit about a 2 iron I think … IT’S IN THE HOLE!”

Welcome to our new blog section!

By now you will have noticed Western Horse Review has gathered a sagacious and versatile group of bloggers for your daily reading and viewing pleasure, and I have to say, I’m happy to be a part of it.

For those of you who read the magazine, you’ve probably already seen the call for foal photos in the April issue. Photos and contests definitely encompass two of my favorite components of the new www.westernhorsereview.com and I’ll be running many of them straight through this blog, so check in often. In fact, watch for my inaugural “Brand It” contest early next week, when we’ll be giving away three fabulous pairs of Cruel Girl jeans. As well, I’ll be posting highlights of the ongoing Best Babies Photo Contest tomorrow.

A few more things you can expect on this growing site: in addition to an ever-expanding list of current events (please feel free to contribute), there are a couple of coming-soon’s: such as a live feed and video section (we’ll be kicking this off with a live feed from the Canadian Cutting Horse Association Finals in Olds, Alberta. Watch for it beginning April 9), a list of sites we find useful and book and video reviews of the latest in all western riding genres.

I’ll post as often as I can. My life as a mother of two daughters who ride and compete, Western Horse Review editor, amateur competitor, acreage dweller and keeper of a menagerie of horses is sure to keep the posts popping. I’m also looking forward to having a number of guest bloggers who will post opinions, stories, news and even how-to pieces. Please feel free to work this blog with me. If you have anything western lifestyle related, photos of your latest horse show or event, announcements, blog discussion topics to suggest – seriously, almost anything goes – even, yes, recipes! Even, poetry! (keeping it clean and courteous, of course)

Don’t hesitate to e-mail me at ingrids@efirehose.net and I’ll get it on the blog.

As you may have already read in the magazine, we’re aiming high with this new site and we hope you’ll join us for the ride.