I don’t often listen to the radio or play CDs in the car, even when I’m driving long distances. During these occasions, I like to let the voices in my head have free rein. (Or maybe that should be free reign, when you really listen to what’s going on in there.)

So the other day, as I drove by a rather small pasture area, more like a corral, really, with just one small tan-colored horse inside, my mind took me back to my great aunt Flora’s home when I was eight or ten. There was a Shetland pony in a similarly enclosed area right behind her house, and I loved to go back there and pet it, dreaming of the day when I’d have a horse of my own.

I also dreamed that someday the owner would happen by and offer to let me ride it. That day never came, and I never even learned the pony’s real name. I called it “Trigger” because it certainly couldn’t be a “Flicka” or a “Fury,” and those were the only other TV horses I regularly watched.

My Trigger and I developed a pretty good relationship, and I like to think he came to my end of the enclosure when he saw me because he enjoyed my company, and not just for the sugar cube in my pocket.

For a city kid to have a horse nuzzle the flat palm of her hand was both scary and thrilling. What if it suddenly bit off my hand? But the possibility of being crippled by this animal never stopped me from smuggling the sugar cubes out back.

I smiled at the memory as I drove along, my thoughts then wondering if all those sugar cubes were actually good for horses. After all, too much sugar causes a myriad of problems in adults, so what about our equine friends?

Naturally, I wrote the question down in my notebook to Google when I got home. Turns out horses get diabetes, same as humans. Many of the causes and symptoms are exactly the same, except humans don’t get skin conditions such as rain rot and pasture scald, and laminitis in humans is virtually non-existent, although other foot problems are quite common.

I’m smiling now as I type this, knowing there generally two types of people who read this far on my blogs—those who got the gist of laminitis from the context and don’t need any more information, and those who will be Googling it momentarily.

Which type are you?