Monday, February 28, 2011

LOL

Apologies, I'm still up on my soapbox this morning.

Holy F&^%*&&^*

And I JUST now heard about this bullshit:

Hi Patti,

Thank you for taking the time to write us. We understand your views and concerns. As quoted by the faculty at our ranch:

"You are quite right - helmets are fabulous things and they save many lives. Tragically though, people who ARE wearing helmets also die or suffer serious head injuries in accidents with horses.

Our program is intended to address the safety problem at its root - which is behavioral - rather than address the symptoms of it. Our message is about developing the relationship with the horse, and the savvy level of the rider, so that unsafe behavior is addressed long before the rider gets on the horse - rather than allowing the unsafe situations to continue to occur and hope that the helmet, body protector, etc, will protect us from the consequences.

The reason you do not see our people wearing helmets is because we try to teach people that rather than be brave because they are wearing a a helmet to protect them, they would be better off not riding until their horse is behaving safely.

People have called us brave for not wearing helmets, but we say they are a lot braver than we are. We would not get on their horse until we had addressed the issues that cause it to behave in unsafe ways.

We hope this helps,

From the Faculty, Parelli Centers"
WTF????????????? What morons!!!!! Morons, I tell you, MORONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mare slipped on wet grass and went down just before Thanksgiving a year ago, and I was lucky to be wearing my helmet. Ivan slipped and went down just at the end of January, not when either of us were doing anything dumb, he just hit some turf that looked dry but wasn't, and if he had tossed me just a couple of feet farther I would have smacked headfirst into the roundpen! This is just another example of why I don't endorse the Parelli nincompoops, Linda or Pat.

This made me laugh...

I like this. Very true. Oh yeah, and it's in reference to the other Pat Parelli stuff that I posted earlier this morning.

The man's an idjit.

And whatever person/entity came up with speed training a greenie in a busy crowded environment should be horsewhipped.

Has zero to do with horses. Has 100% to do with morons showing off doing something they know they shouldn't be doing at the expense of the horse for a crowd of dimwit sycophants. All in the chase for the almighty marketing dollar.

Morons.

Absolute Bullshit

Evidently, this is Pat Parelli's response on the "unscheduled dismount" off the colt he picked for the Road To The Horse competition. The title of this blogpost sums up my response to what he said.

Pat Parelli: On why he selected Hey Whiskey as his horse: “He looked amiable. I connected with him right away. I saw him moving around out there when they moved the horses around last night. He wasn’t the boss hoss, and he wasn’t the wimp on the bottom, either. I thought, ‘He’s a nice horse,’ and he’s the kind of horse I’d like to own.

“I really felt like that horse gave me a lot today. Again, I stick with rapport first, then I start working on respect, and then I start working on the impulsion and flexions. I’ve got some work to do now on his respect, so he understands, so he’s not afraid of me, but at the same time, I’m communicating with him, controlling him and can move his body where I need to. That’s my job tomorrow.”

On an unscheduled dismount: “Wasn’t that slick? That was a slick a dismount as a guy knows how to do at my age. I was trying to get dismounted before he got tight. And then when he kind of started to move, I just said, ‘Well let’s just twist out of here and get out of here slick and easy.’ He was hiding from me on his right side on his eye. He’d look at me real good on the left eye, but when I got up and threw that rope over, I realized, he’s not wanting to look at me over here. I’ve got a little work to do on that side.”

“I tried to do two things, to make sure that if that horse’s mom was watching, she’d be proud of what – or not ashamed of what was happening to her little horse, and I was there as if Tom Dorrance, Ronnie Willis and Ray Hunt were watching. They were sitting up in the light banks looking down, and I didn’t want to wear that colt down. I wanted to make sure he was confident, curious, still sensitive.”
I think he is a scam artist. And that man fell off. What an idiot.

Here's a link to The Original Article with Pat Parelli's Response

Parelli's Bucking Colt - Road To the Horse 2011

Pat Parelli getting bucked off. I do believe the HORSE won this round.



I'm glad he wasn't hurt, but I will say that I think this is a great example of how stupid this competition is. A competition to see who can train a horse the fastest is complete bullshit. All you accomplish by forcing a horse through all the motions that quickly is to build a poor foundation. And in the end, you get dumped. Bravo, little horse. That was humbling.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bad kitty...

Does your cat do this? Thank goodness I dont have any cats that do this anymore. I am so grateful that this is NOT my kitty!
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Featured Story on MyHorse.com: With Horse Hay, Wetter Can Be Better

With Horse Hay, Wetter Can Be Better

While it may not have ever crossed your mind to soak your horse's hay, some circumstances make it a good thing to do.

When horses graze, they are feeding on grass, which is more than 80% water. Hay has considerably less moisture, so soaking the hay can sometimes be beneficial. When horses graze, they are feeding on grass, which is more than 80% water. Hay has considerably less moisture, so soaking the hay can sometimes be beneficial.

Fresh grass is at least 80% water, while cut grass dried and baled as horse hay is usually 10% or less water. This difference is why even horses with poor teeth can usually hold their own on good pasture. Wet horse hay simply easier to chew.

While hay is a more concentrated source of calories, pound per pound, than grass, many horses keep their weight easier on good grass, in part due to the high water content in grass. To effectively ferment the digestible fiber portion of plants, the microorganisms in the gut require a large amount of water.

High water content is also the reason why chokes and impactions are almost nonexistent in horses on pasture. The necessary moisture for easy passage is built right into the grass.

When horses graze, you'll notice they do not eat the grass down close to ground level (unless they're really hungry because of insufficient grass to eat). If they do happen to pull up a whole plant, they will drop the lower portion and the dirt-covered roots from their mouth. Horses are not meant to get their minerals by eating dirt. Plants selectively filter minerals from the soil, and the mineral content of the grass is not the same as dirt.

In the process of drying and baling hay, a considerable amount of dirt may be incorporated into the bales. This can reduce the hay's palatability, cause puffs of dust when eating that irritate the lungs and can even cause imbalanced intake of minerals, particularly with high levels of iron, aluminum and manganese. But you can offset some of these disadvantages by soaking hay before feeding it to your horse.

Reasons to Soak
  • Help prevent choke.
  • Help prevent impactions.
  • Make hay easier to chew and digest.
  • Reduce free-floating mold spores, dust, sugar and potassium in hay.
  • Remove surface dirt.

Soaking hay can also benefit specific medical conditions. Many respiratory allergies in horses are from fungal/mold elements that grow in hay. Soaking does not completely remove these, but it does largely eliminate the possibility of spores being directly inhaled as small, airborne particles.

Quarter Horses with HYPP (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis) do best when there is not excessive potassium in their diets. Since all hays are high in potassium, this can be a problem. However, potassium leaches out of hays easily when they are soaked. Soaking can reduce potassium by around 50%.

Horses and ponies with insulin resistance and weight/laminitis problems are very sensitive to the sugar content of their diet, even the amount of sugar in a grass hay. Soaking the hay can reduce the sugar up to 30%.

However, when soaked to remove potassium or sugar, mature hays will show less of a reduction because the hay's outer covering is more impervious to water. If you are soaking to remove sugar or potassium, it's wise to soak a sample of hay, then allow part of it to dry completely and have the dried sample retested for sugar or potassium to make sure it really is as low as you hoped.

Soaking Hay Cubes and Pellets

Hay cubes and pellets are much less likely to contain mold/fungi because of the way the hay is cut at higher moisture level and then more thoroughly heat-dried. However, cubes and pellets are like hay in every other way, and if any of the reasons for soaking hay apply to your horse, you should also consider soaking pellets or cubes.

Because they are so compact, less space is needed for the soaking. Regular-size water buckets or feed troughs will do. The compactness of cubes and pellets does mean longer soaking times, so allow a minimum of two hours. If reducing sugar or potassium is your goal, be sure to stir the mixture thoroughly after soaking and give it a good final rinse.

Since cubes and pellets will fall apart into tiny particles and make a mash, draining the water off the bottom of the container isn't an option because you'll lose the hay with the drainage water. Find a large colander with a fine mesh that will fit down inside the bucket snugly. Put the cubes or pellets into the container, and put the colander into the container over the hay. Weight the colander down with a small brick or rock and allow water to run freely through the colander and down into the hay particles. Do not compact the soaked hay too tightly or the water will simply run over the surface layer and back out again. A five- to 10-minute final rinse will do it. Then, holding the colander in place, tip the bucket to remove excess water on top of the hay.

The soaked cubes/pellets are also much heavier than their original weight, so unless your arms are up to the job, you'll want a transportation system. Putting the bucket on a small dolly, with a strap to secure it in place, works well. You can also use the dolly to tilt the bucket for drainage. Simply wheel to your feeding area and remove the soaked hay with a scoop.

How Much Water

Most horses really enjoy soaked hay, but some miss the sugar that soaking removes. If you are only soaking to help chewing and digestion, fluff the hay slightly and soak in just enough water to cover it with the hay packed tightly into the soaking container. This will ensure that more water gets soaked into the hay. There will be little or no excess water remaining after soaking, so the sugar will stay with the hay.

When soaking to remove surface dirt and mold spores, it's wise to fluff the hay slightly and rinse it very thoroughly before you begin. This carries away most of the dirt and surface mold in the initial rinse so that it does not soak back onto the hay's surface. A relative short soak, but with agitation of the hay a few times during soaking, will then remove additional dirt and mold.

Soaking to leach out sugar or potassium should also be done after fluffing the hay, but requires longer soaking times for best effect. A minimum of one hour in cold water or a half-hour in hot water is best. The more water in the soaking container, the more efficient the sugar and potassium removal will be. However, when soaking in hot weather, you can get bacterial overgrowth very rapidly, so in those cases don't soak longer than two hours.

How to Do It

The first thing you'll find out is that soaked hay is heavy. Another problem is that it floats. Yet another is how and where to get rid of the water.

The first step is to pick a spot for your soaking station. A wash stall with a drain is ideal. If this isn't available, you'll need a spot outside where you can let the water run off without creating muddy spots in your paddocks or walkways. If you can find a spot protected from the weather, this makes life a lot easier.

You want to position your soaking container on either concrete with a drain, concrete with a slight slope so that water runs off freely or up on a wooden skid. (Many businesses give these away for free - try a lumberyard or home improvement store.) Your spot also needs to be within easy reach of a hose.

Next, consider the soaking container. Oversized muck buckets are a good choice. A water trough or old bathtub also works well. Ideally, your container will have a bottom or side plug for draining the water. If it doesn't, it's well worth it to find a large plug at a home improvement store, hardware, Wal-Mart or plumbing outlet and cut a hole in your container to match. You'll also need a few bricks or a small concrete block to hold the hay down under water level.

Now that you have your spot set up, you'll need a few items to make the hauling and lifting easy because the soaked hay will be very heavy. The best approach is to put a serving of hay into a nylon hay net or a collapsible laundry bag with holes poked in the bottom and run a length of strong rope or a lunge line over a beam above the soak tub or through a heavy ring attached to the ceiling or nearby wall. This creates a pulley system that makes it much easier to lift the soaked hay out of the tank. Either put a heavy snap or hook on the rope to attach to the hay bag or laundry sack, or tie a knot. (Snaps and hooks obviously are easier.)

Once you've soaked the hay, pull it up above water level and allow the excess water to drip off. Lower the hay into a wheelbarrow to transport it. Placing another pulley system in the feeding area makes for easy unloading.

Ivan Using Side Reins

Another clip of the Go!-boy, using the side reins this time while free lunging. He's still a bit heavy on the forehand at the canter, so we practice lots of transitions to get him using that hiney more! I love my horse :) He's so willing and smart!

Ivan Sans Side Reins

The fabulous Go!-boy, sans side reins in this video, while free lunging on 2/21/2011. He's catching on quickly to verbal commands now that we've started really reinforcing his basics :)


Ivan's Old Routine

My Go!-boy's old training routine. One of his old trainers forwarded this to me, so I thought it would be neat to post it for posterity :)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here was his track schedule to give you an idea of timelines:
Breakfast
20 minutes turn-out
15 minutes Hot-Walker
20 minute grooming & tacking up - & standing in cross-ties waiting for his ride
20 - 30 minutes on the track - 2 laps at a trot, 1 lap at a tight-canter both directions, then the distance they were breezing under wraps (chin pretty much to his chest). Once a week he also got a full-out gallop.
10 minutes in the washrack & being handwalked/grazed
another 15-20 minutes on the hotwalker
10 minutes - grooming & legs rubbed down, legs wrapped & feet packed on gallop days.
back to his stall with his hay.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
His home work schedule between track periods went like this:
10 minutes of grooming
10 minutes of lunging r/l
10 minutes of slow work
20 minutes of "detail work"
20 minutes of slow work while cooling down
15 minutes - hose down & legs rubbed.
Turned-back out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

R.I.P. Marley

Marley as a baby

Marley hanging out with a buddy, another friend's rat, Maggie


I had to make the rainbow bridge decision yesterday. It was so hard, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Most people won't understand grief over the passing of a RAT, but Marley was a great little rat. Her story is a good one. I rescued Marley from becoming dinner in December of 2008. She was four weeks old, and some of her cage-mates had just been picked out to be snake food. I just couldn't resist her with her little nub tail and her curly fur and whiskers. She was so curious and friendly, plus she looked more like a little hamster with that nub tail, so I took her home with me. The last two, nearly two and a half years, have been wonderful with her in my life. Rats, despite their bad rep, are very intelligent creatures, and Marley was very loving. Ha, she shared my wine tastes and from an early age was always trying to steal sips of my cabernet when I wasn't looking. The first week I had her home, she nearly nosedived into my glass of cab when I was just hanging out on the couch.

Trying to steal some cabernet sauvignon

She used to be so fearless. She was a very busy little thing, much busier than any of the male rats that I had had as a child. The boys are more couch potato-ey, but Marley was curious and into everything. She was such a delight, and it was hilarious to watch her go. She wasn't afraid of hardly anything at all, certainly not the dog, and not often of the cat. She had an adventure riding Isis one afternoon :)


Hi-ho Isis, away!

Isis protected her from the cat while roaming around

Yesterday I went to give her a treat and found her in the bottom of the cage, still alive. I made an emergency appointment with the exotics vet in Birmingham, and brought her in. It was just too late, and she presented very similar symptoms to November's ailment when she had an allergic reaction.


Marley while recovering from her allergic reaction

Marley feeling much better a couple days later

However, this time she presented similar but more severe symptoms including seizures, but without the cause of an allergic reaction to be causing these symptoms. The hard decision was made to be merciful and end her suffering. I had to realize that even if I invested loads of money trying to save her, she still likely wouldn't make it and I would just be prolonging the inevitable. I said my goodbyes and sat with her through the procedure, making sure she was taken care of in her final moments. We buried her in the yard behind one of our rosebushes, and will be getting a stone to mark it. She was a great rat, and I will miss her. I will always remember the little rat that used to sleep in my collar.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Show Season Prep!

For those of us showing this season, DON'T FORGET YOUR VACCINATIONS!

Borrowed from Smartpak, I found this article quite helpful, so I'm sharing.

Traveling with Your Horse? Reduce the Red Tape

By Dr. Lydia Gray on February 22, 2011 at 2:40 am Barn Skills




Whether it’s a short distance or a long trip, you’ve got a lot to think about any time you haul your horse. Getting all the right tests done and paperwork filled out may seem like a lot of extra time and money. However, there are some very good reasons why these examinations and documents are required. In this article, you’ll find out what you need to travel and why.

What You Need
There are three broad categories of travel: intrastate, interstate and international (the last is beyond the scope of this article). Depending on your reason for travel and your final destination, you may need the same kind of documentation for intrastate travel (travel within the state of origin) that is required for interstate travel (travel outside the state of origin).

Intrastate Travel
For example, if you are trailering your horse to a show, more than likely the show officials will ask to see a copy of your horse’s negative Coggins test, the most commonly used means of finding antibody to the equine infectious anemia (EIA) virus. If you are transporting a horse to an auction, the facility may require that each horse be accompanied by a health certificate, also known as a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). These certificates, which attest that the horse exhibits no obvious signs of disease on the day of inspection and are signed by your veterinarian, are generally good for 30 days, although some are limited to just 10 days.

Interstate Travel
What changes when you want to travel with your horse outside your own state? Not only is a negative EIA test required for entry into all 50 states, it must be performed at an accredited laboratory (your veterinarian will know which laboratories are accredited). Your veterinarian will also be able to tell you if your destination state requires this test be performed within 12 months of entry, within 6 months or, for states like Wisconsin, within the calendar year (Hawaii requires the test be performed within three months of entry).

Also, with some exceptions that will be pointed out later, all states require that a health certificate accompany horses entering their borders. Some require that the horse’s body temperature the day of examination be recorded on the health certificate, others require specific statements about the current status of a specific disease, and a few even require proof of specific vaccinations or additional testing. While your veterinarian is obligated to submit the health certificate to the origin state veterinarian’s office prior to shipment, some states require that an approved copy of the health certificate be submitted to the destination state veterinarian’s office after entry.

Within the last few years, some states have begun requiring an additional document, the entry or import permit.  This is a free document that you or your veterinarian can obtain from the state of your final destination by phone and sometimes by Internet. An entry permit is usually good for the life of your Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. A word of advice for both these documents: include every stop you will be making in the state to avoid any problems.

Horse owners in certain states have an alternative method of complying with interstate health requirements. Two different groups of states have formed reciprocal livestock health arrangements so that people who travel frequently with their horses between these neighboring states do not have to keep getting health certificates every 30 days. Ask your veterinarian if you live or are traveling to a state that accepts the Six Month Equine Certificate, also known as an “equine passport” or “extended validity CVI.”

Finally, even if your horse doesn’t have a brand, he may still need to undergo a brand inspection to establish proof of ownership. Contact a state brand inspector through your state department of agriculture of state police if you live in a western state.  Frequent travelers should inquire about a Lifetime Brand Inspection Certificate, available in some states.

Why You Need It
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) accredits veterinarians to carry out these and other services. Local veterinarians work with their state veterinarian and the Area Veterinarian-in-Charge (AVIC) to protect the health and well being of both you and your horse by preventing, controlling and eradicating animal disease. In recent years, state and federal animal regulations have protected the United States equine industry from vesicular stomatitis, screwworm, piroplasmosis and, most recently, West Nile Encephalitis.

Just because you do not travel internationally or even interstate with your horse doesn’t mean you are safe from the effects of foreign (or not-so-foreign) animal diseases. Even if your horse does not come into direct contact with a sick horse that has traveled extensively, once any horse shows signs of a reportable disease for that state, equine transportation from that location and sometimes even from that state may be shut down. Complying with our country’s disease prevention requirements helps keep our national equine industry healthy and active.

Finally, complying with animal transport requirements not only serves to protect your horse and the horses he or she comes into contact with, it also lays an excellent paper trail should there be any question of your horse’s disease status. Veterinary examinations, negative EIA test results, body temperature and vaccination records are all in one place for easy retrieval.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Helpful info for those prepping to buy their own farm

Had to borrow and share this. I definitely need to bookmark this article for when I start considering my own tractor for my own future farm!

Understand Tractor Options, Features


Looking for a tractor to make short work of barn chores? Sometimes the features and options can be confusing. Read on for some lessons in tractor vocabulary.

Photo by Darrell Dodds
Looking for just the right tractor to take care of those farm chores? Read on for tips on tractor features and options.
Photo by Darrell Dodds
In the June 2004 issue of Horse & Rider, we took a look at some of the handy implements available–from manure spreaders to harrows. If you’re looking for a tractor to go along with those implements, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the standard–and not-so-standard–features available.

Some Standards
Agricultural tires. An R1 agricultural bar tread (highly raised bars running diagonally from the tire’s inside edge to its outside edge) comes standard on many compact tractors. It’s designed for good traction in sand, dirt and mud. Some models come with R4 industrial tread, which features wider bars with shallower channels between than the R1, making it less aggressive.

Diesel engine. More powerful and fuel efficient than gas engines, diesel engines generate a lot of torque (which refers to an engine’s strength and ability to pull or work against force) and are extremely durable.

Drawbar. This is the hitch that connects directly to the tractor’s chassis (its frame or body) and is most often used to pull a cart or wagon.

Gear transmission. This is like a car’s manual transmission in that you’ll need to shift the gears yourself. The numbers preceding the transmission type tell you how many forward and reverse gears the tractor offers. For example, “12 x 12″ means the tractor offers 12 forward and 12 reverse gears.

Power steering. This is just like the silky-smooth, feather-touch steering you find in cars.

Power take-off (PTO). This rotating shaft powers mechanized attachments while the tractor is at a standstill. It’s driven by the engine and mounted underneath or at the rear of the tractor.

Three-point hitch. A category 1 three-point hitch features a triangle-shaped hydraulic system to which you’ll hook your attachments. (Category 1 refers to the 7/8-inch size pin that mounts implements to tractors with less than 50 horsepower.) The two side arms, called the draft links, do most of the pulling and lifting, and the top arm, called the center link, controls the implement’s angle. This hitch is designed to lift your attachment off the ground–important for clearance when making tight turns–and to prevent the implement from damaging ground surfaces.

Built-Ins
Here’s a list of built-in features available when you buy your trailer (you can’t add them on later), along with about what you can expect to pay for each one.

Four wheel drive. A tractor’s rear axle is its main source of power. In a four-wheel drive model, you’ll be able to engage the front axle with a turn of a lever or knob–a big plus for such horse chores as moving dirt or manure across muddy surfaces or mowing in rough terrain. Average cost: $2,000.

Front-end loader. This deep, tractor-width bucket with powerful arms mounts on the tractor’s front end. With it you’ll be able to move hay bales, manure, and nearly anything else in a snap. Average cost: $3,500.

Hydrostatic transmission. This feature shifts gears without manual adjustment. It’s best for tasks that require constant speed and direction changes in a small area. Average cost: $2,000.

Bells & Whistles
Accessorize with these handy attachments depending on your needs and budget.

Box scraper. Scrape pens, level driveways, move light snow, etc. Average cost: $1,000.

Cart or wagon. Helps your tractor perform duties that your pickup would otherwise do, such as hauling anything from bags of shavings to potted plants. Average cost: $500.

Chain harrow. Used to drag your arena footing to keep it smooth and level. Average cost: $600.

Mower. You’ll use this attachment to clear weeds from your property and mow pasture grass. Average cost: $1,200.

Posthole digger. Great for construction, planting trees and establishing fence lines. Average cost: $1,000.

Snow blower. Used in conjunction with a front-end loader to clear a path through heavy snow. Average cost: $2,500.


For more information, see Horse & Rider, May 2003, “How Much Tractor Can You Afford?”

Is insuring jewelry a good deal?

My best friend's blog with the AJC!
Is insuring jewelry a good deal?

And yes, we're going to be insuring my engagement+wedding ring. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Break for Ivan

My Go!-boy has been so darn good this week, I think we're both going to take the day off. He's been so sweet, so relaxed, and has just had the most amazing work ethic. We've been working hard at "whoa" and "walk" while off-line in the roundpen. Of course he does best on-line when he has a touch signal to whoa or to walk, but he's very quickly learning to do it with a verbal command and body language. I'm hoping to have him trained to just verbal command and nothing else within the next couple of weeks! In the meantime, I'm very pleased with his progress thus far :) Here's a clip of him on-line showing off his "walk" and "whoa" with very quick response time :)
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Horse | Bits: Pain in the Mouth

I thought this was a helpful article. My Ivan will occasionally lean on the bit, something he was trained to do during his racing days. We are currently re-training him not to do this with fairly acceptable success, but he occasionally forgets. Reading through this article was helpful and allowed me to rethink his bit and make sure it's still the right one for him.
The Horse Bits: Pain in the Mouth


This was a video recommended by SmartPak. Though focused on western bit fitting, it does have principles that are applicable to both western and english bit fitting and is helpful :)
The Horse Western Bit Fitting (video)


SmartPak's blog that lists a few different bits and also links to purchase them :) The write-ups on the bits are short but informative.
Smark Pak's Blog Entry: Bits + Pieces

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flysheet season!

My pretty boy in his pretty, new blues. I bought this flysheet for him back in November and waited all winter for warm enough weather for him to wear it. The flies arent out and biting yet, but it helps keep him clean. His colors are hunter green and black, but he looks so good in this bird's egg blue, doesn't he?
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Weight check!!!

I have FABULOUS news! I weight taped Ivan yesterday, and he appears to be right at 953 on the weight tape! That's exactly where he taped at a few days after I brought him home from Florida, except now instead of chubby grass belly, he has a bit more muscling in the right places! His ideal weight will be right around 1000 lbs, so hopefully over the next year or two he'll put on another 40-50 lbs of good muscle as his training and conditioning stay consistent and progress along with keeping him on the right diet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Wrap = Stuff Every Rider SHOULD Know

The original link: http://blog.smartpakequine.com/2011/02/how-to-wrap-your-horses-legs/



How To Wrap Your Horse’s Legs

By Dr. Lydia Gray on February 17, 2011 at 4:23 am
How To, SmartPak Features




Wrapping a horse’s legs is a barn skill every owner should master. From applying polo wraps for exercise to shipping bandages for trailering to standing wraps overnight in the stall (with or without poultice, a sweat or other medication), there are many reasons why the equine limb might need additional support.

The most important things to remember about bandaging are:
  1. Don’t apply the material too loosely because it could fall down and trip or scare the horse
  2. Don’t apply the material too tightly or unevenly because it could cut off circulation or cause what is known as “cording” or a “bandage bow.” This is damage to the tendons on the back of the leg (bowed tendon) from an improperly applied bandage.

Step One: Select the appropriate bandage

For exercise, a stretchy, soft, fleece-like material is popular. Often called a polo wrap, these usually have Velcro fastening at the end and are typically about 5” tall and 9’ long. Standing (stable) or shipping bandages are taller and longer, more like 6” tall and up to 12’ long because they’re used on the outside of a quilt, which is additional padding to protect the leg. They’re also less stretchy, being made of a thinner knit or polyester material. Quilts are made out of cotton and come in several heights (12”, 14”, 16”) to better match the height of front or hind legs in large or small horses.

Step Two: Prepare the horse and materials

There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing a wrap on a wiggly horse only to find the Velcro is on the wrong side. Make sure your outer wrap is rolled correctly before you start! To correctly roll a wrap (especially brand new bandages), start at the Velcro end and place the closure on the INSIDE. Roll snugly and evenly to make unrolling against the leg easier and more uniform. Finally, make sure your horse’s legs are clean and dry, that he’s standing on a level location, and that he’s either tied safely or someone is holding him.

Step Three: Wrap two to four legs (polo wrap version)

  1. The first rule of thumb if you’re going to wrap one front or hind leg--let’s say to cover a wound—is to wrap the other one too. Not only does wrapping both legs provide equal support, especially important in the case of an injury where circulation might be compromised, the horse may be less likely to chew or kick a bandage off if both legs feel the same.
  2. The next rule is “put the roll to the back.” That is, place the end of the bandage in front of the leg and keep the rolled up portion in back of the leg about midway down the cannon on the outside of the limb, The inside of the roll should be facing you. You should have just enough bandage out in front of the leg so that when you wrap it around to the inside of the cannon it ends behind the bone and in front of the tendons, in that little groove. Adjust the length if necessary.
  3. Now hold on to this end while smoothly unrolling the bandage so that the first wrap covers the end. Once the end is secured you can let go of it and head down the leg with the wrap. You’ll notice for the left legs you’re wrapping in a counterclockwise direction but for the right legs the direction is clockwise. Each turn should cover about 50% of the material from the last turn. Try to keep an even tension on the bandage as you wrap, neither tugging in places nor letting it go loose. At the bottom of the leg, make a “sling” under the fetlock then head back up the leg. Go all the way up to where the knee starts then come back down and end midway down the cannon where you started. Fasten the Velcro securely. A correctly applied polo wrap should have a “V” at the front of the fetlock where you changed directions, evenly spaced overlaps, and no wrinkles or bunching.
  4. Applying a standing (stable) bandage
    The same principles apply to wrapping a horse whose movement will be restricted in a stall except that first you have to put on the quilt. Although there’s no Velcro on this padding layer, try to roll it inside-out also and start the same way, with the end wrapped around the front of the cannon bone and tucked in the little groove between the bone and the tendons. Center the quilt between the knee and fetlock. When you unrolled the quilt completely, wherever it stops just tuck the end of your standing bandage an inch or two inside the end of the quilt then wrap like you did for the polo wrap. The main difference here is that you will not form a sling around the fetlock but instead leave an inch of quilt sticking out the top and bottom. Spiral down the leg, up the leg, and end in the middle just like before.
These are the basic instructions for applying an exercise wrap and a standing wrap. With practice you’ll soon learn just where to start, the correct tension and how much to overlap so that you end halfway down the outside of the leg every time. Keep in mind there are lots of variations such as applying a shipping bandage (some prefer to wrap over a bell boot), “sweating” a leg or wet poulticing. A standing wrap can also be used to protect a wound that may have medication, a non-stick pad, and vetrap or brown kling gauze as the first layer. Just remember to put a standing wrap on the other, non-injured leg too!

I laughed my butt off :)

Hilarious. The end.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ivan: Roundpen 2/16/2011

This guy has been giving me trouble with downward transitions, particularly whoa and downward trot-to-walk transitions. No problems with upward transitions. However, he is showing huge improvement! Adding more decisive body language made a huge difference for Ivan. He did a couple of full stops yesterday with just my body language and a quick verbal "whoa" :)


Even better, he is improving a lot at transitions under saddle! We were able to do a downward transition to a walk off of just my seat, and from walk to halt off of JUST MY SEAT!!! I'm so thrilled with him :) Sitting a little deeper than usual plus really jamming my butt down on that cantle has really helped translate that command more clearly for him.

Classy Lady: Roundpen 2/16/2011

My fancy little spotted mare. What irks me is that even though she's TWH on top and bottom, she gets trotty sometimes and I have to correct it. We've been working a lot on sand footing this week since she doesn't like sand footing, and hopefully this will help her improve her consistency on this type of footing when we hit the show arena this spring.




She will need LOTS of practice on this type of footing, though. In this video, she's not bad, but she does trot some.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alas, my nice new side reins...

Unfortunately, my fancy new leather side reins just did not work. I bought some fabulous Camelot German-style Leather Side Reins in horse size, but these things could have fit a warmblood! The smallest they would adjust to was still 42"!!! My little cobby-sized horses are just too little. Here's the Lady modeling them for you (sorry, camera phone quality).




Haha, she doesn't look like she's missed a meal this winter. And I'm pleased that keeping sheets and blankies on her have kept her clean and white plus without too heavy of a coat. That means I can probably avoid body clipping her for show season this year! No yak look on her this go-round, so all I'll have to do is whiten her legs, mane, and tail, and I'll have to do a touch up clip on her face and jawline. Maybe the neck a little bit, with a guard, since her neck and legs were all that were exposed all winter long. I hesitate to say we're out of winter yet, but we've had 60s and 70s all week long! Keep your fingers crossed; I prefer nice weather.

Good words for the day :)


I always loved the cat in the hat as a kid. Anything Dr. Seuss, really. These are good words to follow sometimes :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

This made me cry...



This is one of the kindest things you may ever see.

It isn't known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14-year-old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter, Meredith, was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her, You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

 
Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.

Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,

God


We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.

A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

My day just got better... a little...

My fiance is wonderful :) I have felt like I'm friggin' dying all day with this stupid stomach bug, and he manages to brighten my day with Valentine's flowers! I love him!
Crappy camera phone quality, but you get the idea

Hard to tell, but these blooms are HUGE! Especially the darker red ones

Complete with the sweetest little card :)

Amanda Palmer & The Young Punx - "Map of Tasmania" 8ft. Records

Funniest music video ever. Probably the video of the month for me :)

Word of the Day

Cupya.

Totally made up, totally a phonetic stringing together of two other words, couple of. Totally fits in a down home southern kind of way. I'm not southern, to be sure, but I definitely like certain little southern colloquialisms. Except the "Y" word. It will ALWAYS be "you guys" whenever I refer to a group of people in that fashion.

What the West would have been like with Shetland ponies

Bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! This just made me feel tons better. I hate having sick days... especially when it's gorgeous outside!!!!

Blinging White

Another link I had to borrow. Sakura Hill Farm's blog is a wealth of information!

 

So everyone loves chrome, but how do you keep it Bling-tastic for the show ring?

We read this little tip in the Chronicle of the Horse about a year ago and used it on our Alla 'Czar mare Czola who has two very high white socks and a white blaze when she went to the BWP-NA Inspection for her Hunter Book approval and it worked like a charm. Fortunately, she is one of few horses we have at the moment that has a significant amount of bling, but should we have more with high socks and blazes, we'll be using this trick each and every time.

What you'll need:
  1. Clippers with a #40 blade
    Czola after the BWP-NA Inspection
  2. Box of Corn Starch
  3. Water
  4. Bucket
  5. Towel
  6. Hard brush
What to do:
(1 month before the show)
  1. 1 month before the show, clip the white socks with a #40 blade. This will allow the starch to stick and dry more effectively.
What to do:
(Day before the show)
  1. In a bucket mix Corn Starch (you will use at least 1/2 the box- the full box, depending on how much white you are working with) and Water until it forms a thick paste
  2. Slab it on the high whites, like you would a poultice. Don't worry too much about getting it beyond the white areas- this can be taken care of easily the next morning.
  3. You can either leave it open to dry or you can wrap the legs over night to dry as you would a poultice
What to do:
(Day of the show)
  1. Use a hard brush to chip away the crust of corn starch that remains (make sure to get it all)
  2. Use a damp towel to go along the borders of the white areas and along any stray corn starched areas that aren't white
The End Result: Sparkling whites that will repel dust and ensure that your bling stays bright for your time in the spotlight.

Czola after the BWP-NA Inspection

Horse Sayings

I saw these on another blog and just had to borrow. Enjoy!

1. Hang a horseshoe over the door for good luck

This superstition is probably an amalgam of beliefs because horse shoes have seven holes and seven is regarded as a lucky number, they are made of iron, which has the quality of strength, and they are associated with horses and donkeys both of whom have been revered through the ages. There is also a legend from the middle ages about a blacksmith named Dunstan. Dunstan was visited by the devil in his blacksmith shop. The devil wanted Dunstan to make him shoes, but Dunstan refused and beat the devil, making him promise never to enter a place where a horseshoe hung over the door. To prevent luck from running out, the horseshoe must hang toe down. In some cultures however, it's believed the toe should be hung toe-up.

2. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

While we value horses now as companions, they were once valued as modes of transport. You probably wouldn't give away a young horse that was still useful. When a horse got old, it would no longer be able to pull or carry loads, and therefore, had little value. One way to tell if a horse was old was to open its mouth and look at its teeth, which would reveal its age So, don't look in a 'gift horse's' mouth, because you'll probably find out its old, and you'd realize you had gotten something of little value (and not appreciate the thought behind the gift - if indeed it was well intentioned.) So, to look a gift horse in the mouth would be to question the value of a gift.

3. One white foot, buy him; two white feet, try him...

... three white feet, look well about him; four white feet, go without him.
This saying has variations such as ‘four white feet and white on his nose, take off his hide and feed him to the crows.’ That’s pretty harsh! Or, one, buy me, Two, try me, Three, shy me, Four, fly me. This old saying is probably based on the belief that white hooves are weaker than dark and your white footed horse is prone to unsoundness due to wear and cracks.  The saying is reversed in one version.  One white foot, keep him not a day, Two white feet, send him far away, Three white feet, sell him to a friend, Four white feet, keep him to the end. Whatever the intent behind the rhyme, we've learned that hoof color is not as important as we once thought it was.

4. From the Horse's Mouth

To hear something direct from the person concerned or responsible, rather than second-hand information. For example 'It isn't just a rumor that the factory will close, I was there when the boss said it, so I heard it direct from the horse's mouth'. The saying originally came from horse racing, where it was believed that the best tips came from the people working with the horses (trainers and handlers), so if one hears it from the horse itself then the information is even more direct and certain. For example 'I got a racing tip yesterday, and if it wasn't straight from the horse's mouth, it was the next closest thing'.

5. High Horse

During the Age of Chivalry, a knight was considered chivalrous if he was adept at riding a horse in full armor, which is not easy when the armor and rider together weighed around 440 pounds. Telling someone to get off his high horse probably originated from the fact that knights had to ride specially bred large horses because of the enormous weight of their armor. Nobles would ride through town quite literally looking down on others from their tall horses. Later on, politicians paraded in ceremonial processions on unusually large horses. A Scottish proverb incorporating a reference to one’s “high horse” was cited by James Kelly in 1721. Come off it is also derived from this saying.

6. A Dark Horse

One of England's most distinguished prime ministers, Disraeli was also a noted novelist and poet. In the second book of his three-volume novel The Young Duke: A Moral Tale Though Gay, Disraeli has his main character, the Duke of St. James, attend a horse race that has a surprise finish: "A dark horse which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grandstand in sweeping triumph." Today, the phrase "dark horse" is used to identify any unexpected winner.

7. Chivalry

Chivalry is from the French word for horse, cheval. Because of the code of gallantry, which knights were required to know well, chivalry eventually came to be associated with the ideal behavior for noblemen. Cavalier, which now means to behave aristocratically or in a dismissive manner, is the term one assigned to gentlemen who rode for the military.

8. Putting on airs

Putting on airs may come from a term used in dressage to indicate a movement in which the horse’s legs are off the ground. The various “airs” above ground are performed chiefly by horses trained in the hautes ├ęcoles (high schools), like the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. To put on airs, then, would be to show off a talent that is shared only with the most elite.


9. Starting from scratch

Starting from scratch first implied that someone was being honest in a horse race by making sure that his horse’s front feet were just behind a line drawn in the dirt road that marked where the race was to commence. Although the phrase up to scratch was first published in reference to boxing 160 years ago, it may have been used earlier in horse races.

10. Wild Goose Chase

Going on a wild goose chase refers to an equestrian sport started in England. In England in the 1500s, there was a popular sport in which the rider of a lead horse set a course that other contestants, as long as the first horse could hold the lead, had to follow accurately on their horses at equal intervals. The movement of the leader and the followers reminded people of the characteristic flight of a flock of wild geese, so the sport was called a wild-goose chase.


Sources: http://horses.about.com/od/understandinghorses/tp/horsequotations.htm
http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/articles/olsen_horsesense.html
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1789276/wildgoose_chase_origin_of_the_expression.html

Interesting info

I was poking on another horsey blog, and came across some interesting info as to proportions:

The size of the head from poll to the very end of the mouth is your base measurement
The neck from point of wither to point of the poll should be approximately 1.5x the length of the head (ideally it is 1.75x the length of the head).
The point of the wither to the point of the shoulder should be 1x the length of the head
The point of the hip to the point of the back of the hip should be 1.25x the length of the head
The saddle position should be 1x the length of the head
The point of the hock to the floor should be 1x the length of the head

Holy Hell

Somewhere between midnight and this morning my stomach decided it would be a good day to give me the finger. I can't keep anything in! It's a gorgeous freaking day outside, I had plans to trail ride with the Lady and do roundpen and hill work with the boy, but my plans are effectively being foiled by my gastrointestinal pyrotechnics. I've taken the last of the pepto, the fiance can't bring home anymore for me until after 1 pm, and I'm MISERABLE with constantly going to the bathroom every ten minutes. Where the hell did I even catch a bug like this from??? I've only been to the darn barn, haven't been close to anyone, and the only physical contact I've had with anyone was when someone handed me my helmet yesterday. This mess is the pits.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Success!

I ended up deleting my posts on the original thread on COTH so I can't post it here for reference, but my Go!-Boy, Ivan dumped me a couple weekends ago. It was pretty much my fault for setting him up to give me a flying lesson. I started the thread thinking I might have to change his bit even though I didn't want to, so I posted on the COTH forum asking for advice about what bit to switch it to, and it ended up being a huge trainwreck.

So the short version of what happened is I lunged him first then rode him for longer than I should. It was more than an hour and a half. Two hours might be an exaggeration, but the bottom line is it was a heck of a lot longer than I should ever have been on him since he's still such a youngun, has a short attention span, AND since he was being good. I should have just ended it early on a good note, but I got kind of swept away with the fact that he was being good and wanted to keep riding. So I asked for a canter, he got bored, saw another horse on the other end of the property, made a mad dash to check out what was going on. Ignored a one rein stop, played dodgeball with the barn, a tree, and the roundpen, I lost both stirrups when we nearly smacked into the barn and then the tree, then I rolled off on a sharp turn because I was perched forward on his neck when avoiding the tree.

Ok, so that's the background info of what happened. That was Saturday two weeks ago. Since then, the weather here has been either cold or nasty wet, and we also had a couple days of snow. It has kind of limited our riding time and the footing has been too yucky to do much. So before our lesson yesterday, I'd only ridden him once or twice and only done a day or two of lunge line on the days it was just too darn cold to ride. Truthfully, I've been more than a little nervous about cantering him because though he has decent balance without a rider, he's not as balanced at the canter with a rider yet, plus he dumped me and that shook my confidence, plus if he decides to take off and I don't recognize the signal, he will pull right on through my stop command. We've been working on reinforcing the whoa. He doesn't like that command much. He's always in go mode, but he's learning.

So as to the lesson. I will mention that because of the weather and moving my horses at the beginning of the year, our last lesson was a while ago, well before I got dumped. We've been trying to get on the schedule for the last four weeks, and stuff has kept coming up. We kept wanting to do it at Robin's, but between weather and her going out of town and then me going out of town, it just didn't come together. It had been 6 weeks since our last lesson when I got dumped. So we finally managed to get together yesterday after more than a month off. We've gone back to the basics and are really really reinforcing transitions. Lots of walk/halt transitions. Lots of walk/trot/walk/halt transitions. Over and over and over.

Here I was charging ahead with hoping to get him showing training or first level this spring, and I forgot that he doesn't really know a solid whoa on verbal command. Whoa to him used to be over a quarter mile (random figure, not sure if it was over 20 strides, a furlong, a quarter mile, whatever, but it sure as heck wasn't instant). Now I'm going back to square one and teaching him whoa using verbal, rein, and seat cues, and we're going to practice these until he will stop with just the seat. Same with trot to walk transitions. That dominated a good bit of the lesson, which granted, are things I know how to do on my own, but it certainly helped having eyes on the ground. So much of what I'm doing with Ivan are things that I'm having to remind myself to do with him. He's trained, I mean, he was a finished horse and professionally racing before I got him, but now I'm having to UNTRAIN him and ask him to do what I would like to do with him.

Anyway, back to the lesson. I know this is kind of an epic post, and that I have a tendency to write epic posts. So the lesson consisted of lots of transitions, reinforcing bend and keeping him off the rail with my outside leg at the same time, and finally, last but not least, we did CANTER! I was nervous about doing it on him. My mare, Classy Lady, will run my leg into the fence, into a tree on the trail, anything convenient really if she feels that our session has gone on long enough. She's just a bitch like that. Ivan won't intentionally run me into a rail, but he DOES move very closely to the rail to maximize space and help him keep his balance at a faster gait. This ends up sandwiching my outside leg into itty bitty living space while aboard my furry freight train. Trying to canter inside such a small space as a roundpen means a smaller circle, which is harder for him to balance on, still keeps me nervous about the rail, plus gives me more that I have to do with my legs AND keep control, keep my own balance, and keep calm all at the same time.

Cantering on Ivan went well. I was nervous about it, but it was better to get over it and reinstall some of my confidence in him (and myself while on him). We had a bit of a rough start. I got tense and was more or less perched on him with my butt not even touching the saddle. A second attempt had my hiney polishing that Passier like it was supposed to, and a third attempt went even better. Cantering in the other direction actually went even more smoothly. We ended on a good note when he managed to slow from a canter to a trot when asked entirely by my seat and nothing else. It was such a relief to realize that I still can not act like a complete greenie and can canter on my own darn horse. It also helped when I remembered to breathe, hehe.

So for the rest of the week until our next lesson, we're beating our brains out with transitions. Slow transitions, bending, and most of it inside the boring confines of the darn roundpen. Our one highlight will be walking up and down hills to build up his hiney, but only within the confines of our pasture. *sigh* Thank goodness Ivan is such a willing boy. As long as I can keep his focus and attention span, we'll be ok.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHA!

Awesomeness. Pure awesomeness :)
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Quick! Give me your wallet!

*drool* I so love these. I need about $200 extra that doesn't need to go towards feed, tack, lessons, training, etc... oh, and house bills.... before spending an extra $200 on two breed plaques for my babies! But they're so nice!

http://www.starfishfarms.com/horse/stallplates/woodsigns/stall_ped.html

Friday, February 11, 2011

My pony can be a bi-otch...

Rode the prima donna black and white mare today. She must have some kind of bug up her butt today because she was UPTIGHT the whole time. Usually she's so lazy, but today she was either buddy sour or starting to come into season. Didn't want to bend, didn't want to walk, just wanted to alternate between run-walk and fast rack and was ROUGH. I finally had enough of her antics, so I decided it was time to really make her work. She kept testing to see if she could get in front of the bit, pulling hard on my hands, not yielding, wanting to go sideways instead of in circles, so I hopped off and changed her tack to put her in a surcingle and side reins. Then it turns out my nice, new side reins don't fit. I bought them in horse size, but the darn things are 42" at the tightest hole and STILL too darn big and floppy for either of my horses. Evidently these side reins are for warmblood sized horses, and mine are both cob sized. Whoopee. So, now I get to search again and see if I can order pony size perhaps. Overall, not a super productive day. I was going to ride the GO!-boy, but then Mark decided he wanted me to come home for our date, so I did, but now he's napping instead. GRRRRRrrrrrrr....

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I had to borrow this from my friend, Daniel. It made me laugh :)

The MOWL!!!!

I am so intrigued!

This thing could possibly be the answer to our dinner dumping problems! Mr. Nitwit, Ivan the Terrible Dinner Date, may be meeting the end to his dinner dumping days. Now, I know the cheaper method would be to just mount a corner feeder, but I keep reading about benefits of making your horse stretch down to eat off the floor. I mean, they naturally graze on the ground, so makes sense somewhat, right?

Here's how it reads:
The only equine dental care endorsed horse feeder that:
  • Eliminates the ingestion of dirt or sand while feeding and ultimately helps prevent sand colic.
  • Will not move, spill, flip or tip while your horse feeds from it.
  • Promotes the natural grazing position a horse should be in while feeding.
  • Stretches and strengthens your horses jaw, neck, back and leg muscles while feeding
  • Helps maintain the proper alignment of your horse’s jaw, incisors, molars and TMJ that you don’t get from other feeders.
  • Will save you money on grain, supplements and other feed.
And of course, the link in case any of my horsey friends are interested in trying it out! http://www.equine-originals.com/products-groundhorsefeeder.htm

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Definitely not riding today :(

This sucks. I'm supposed to have a lesson on Ivan on Saturday, and I haven't managed to work him since the day before yesterday. Yesterday was rainy and the ground was wet, and then today we have left over snow from last night! The roundpen isn't covered, and I'm certainly not venturing out into the pasture where who knows what kind of footing is under the snow.

Here are some photos from the house and the drive to the barn. Pretty, sure, but a pain in the butt!

Our backyard

The dogs didn't want to go out to go pee!


On the way to the barn

In our neighborhood on the way to the barn

Thankfully the roads weren't icy

Nom nom nom... shredded beet pulp and alfalfa cubes, soaked. Bet the babies were happy to have a hot meal!

On the way past Mercedes

I wondered if the Mercedes plant was running today?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ridiculous...

Holy crap, this is the third time that it has snowed in the last 6 weeks! What is central/north Alabama coming to? If I wanted all this mess, I would still live up north. Guess that means I need to pack up and head further south...

Our front lawn
A view from our office window
Up close and personal with snow on the bush outside the window

Ah well. At least it's pretty for half a minute. I dread to think of what the roads are going to be like in the morning when I trek out to feed the horses...