Monday, August 29, 2011

Great Barn Day!

Kimberly and I got SO MUCH done today! We took down my two butterfly gates that were all the way out close to the end of the driveway (and way far away from the barn). We re-fenced the gap and put a t-post in the middle. That t-post slammer/hammer thingie is worth the money I paid for it, even just for that one post! Too bad I'm going to have a crapload of posts to do as soon as I pick them up this Friday...

We're planning to put up a cross-fence with no-climb wire mesh around the barn with one gate at the side of the barn so horses can come in from the main pasture. We're moving the butterfly gates over in front of the barn so that we can just drive up if we want to. I'm thinking of renting the guy with the bush hog again to dig a better driveway for me on that side of the barn, plus flatten a spot for us to put the round pen back up.

In addition to taking down the gates and re-fencing the gap, we got A LOT of work done inside the barn as well. We managed to dig holes for and secure to beams the corner posts for Venus's stall, then managed to get the remaining two walls up and now her stall is finished, complete with stall chain! I am tickled to pieces :)

The next projects will be the cross fencing, finishing Ivan's stall, reorganizing our hay stash up in the loft, receiving the next delivery of [200 bales of] hay for our winter stash, and of course, who can forget finishing my darn arena. Once we have our last stash of hay purchased for the winter, I can get back to letting the incoming board money fund the purchase of all weather footing for my arena :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jónsi:Sticks And Stones

Jónsi:Sticks And Stones

Eyes open wide, blinded by the sun now
Orange and white, dark red, green and yellow
Rainbow colors! Do not hide, see the view!
Step aside, go through!

Against the light, too strong, blow a fuse now
Everything bright, new songs, burning shoes
The look in your eyes! Break our bones into half!
Scream and shout and do laugh!

Let yourself... go (Oh Oh Oh)
Let yourself... go (Oh Oh Oh)

Stay close to me
Count one, two and three
Up in through your sleeves
Bursting through the seams
Open your eyes and see - You'll see

Inn um ermar, upp hryggjarsúluna
Yfir skóg, flæðir niður brekkuna
Allt upp í loft! Ég mun aldrei gleyma!
Því ég mun aldrei!

Hleypur um, rífur, leysir flækjurnar
(Upp með rótum) Með blik í augum!
Stórmerki, undur, brjótum bein í sundur!

Let yourself... go (Oh Oh Oh)
Let yourself... go (Oh Oh Oh)

Stay close to me
Count one, two and three
Up in through your sleeves
Bursting through the seams
Open your eyes and see

Stay close to me
Count one, two and three
Up in through your sleeves
Right beyond the trees
Show you how you'll be

Stay close to me
Count one, two and three
Up in through your sleeves
Bursting through the seams
Open your eyes and see - You'll see

Stay close to me : Count one, two, three
Up in your sleeves : You're right behind me
Stay close to me : Count one, two, three
Up in your sleeves : Burst through the seams

Open your eyes and see
You'll see (You'll see...)

Pumped Up Kicks Lyrics

Pumped Up Kicks Lyrics: Foster The People Pumped Up Kicks lyrics in the Torches Album.

Robert's got a quick hand.
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan.
He's got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he's a cowboy kid.
Yeah he found a six shooter gun.
In his dads closet hidden in a box of fun things, and I don't even know what.
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you.

[Chorus x2:]
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

Daddy works a long day.
He be coming home late, yeah he's coming home late.
And he's bringing me a surprise.
'Cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice.
I've waited for a long time.
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger,
I reason with my cigarette,
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.

[Chorus x2:]
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.


[Chorus x3:]
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

My birthday present!

So my birthday was yesterday, and I just realized that I've been forgetting to post photos of my birthday present! I brought home a spotted miniature donkey for my birthday present to myself :) Her registered name is Calico Cookie, and she's just darling! I need to take new photos. I picked her up last Friday, and I took her straight to the vet. Went ahead and got her coggins test and had her ultrasounded, and she's expecting! We'll be having a baby miniature donkey sometime in late April :)

Rosie the donkey brings back memories of seaside trips to care home residents

Rosie the donkey brings back memories of seaside trips to care home residents
9:26am Thursday 25th August 2011

ROSIE the donkey brought a sense of the seaside to the elderly residents at Birchlands Residential Care Home in Haxby.

The rescue donkey, which is sponsored by the care home, attended a beach party in the home’s lounge, as well as making bedside visits to some residents who could not get to the lounge. There was also a chance to dress up in hats, enjoy ice creams, ice lollies and scampi and chips, and people from the local community were invited to join in.

Judith Sumiskey, the manager of the home, said the residents “absolutely loved” being able to pet Rosie, who brought back a lot of memories for them.

“Because the residents are unable to get out to the seaside we do something once a year to bring the seaside to them,” she said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amazing fact...

Amazing fact: On average, each person in the Czech Repulic drinks 156 liters of beer per year. That’s about 330 pints per year per person. On average, they drink nearly a pint a day. If you consider a few other factors in that equation –like children and other people who do not drink at all– that’s a pretty amazing number.


Haha, my video for the week. This darn song is stuck on repeat for me because I can't get it out of my head!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yay for the saddle fitter!

Yay! Saddle fitting went well today. Ivan has a newly flocked, fitted saddle, and hopefully I'll be well enough soon to get my butt back into it. My dumb ribs are being uncooperative and not healing as fast as I'd hoped. I'm so ready to work off 5-10 lbs and fix my turd gelding's brat attitude from not having a job for 5 weeks.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gee しょうわ時代 (爺爺爺-昭和時代)



WE'VE GOT BABY BELLY KICKS!!! Three confirmed by hand touch, and one of the three confirmed by visible bump to the tummy! Classy Lady is definitely going to be a mom. Wish the pregnancy wasn't by that awful woman's stud, but hopefully we'll luck out and it won't be ugly! Absolutely no clue what it's going to look like or be able to do...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Endophyte Fescue Toxicity

Well crapola. Apparently, my mare MIGHT be pregnant. We just noticed today that what was thought to be "grass belly" has suddenly dropped, her vulva is slightly swollen (though still healthy and pink), and she is bagging up and producing colostrum from her teats when you squeeze them to test. This is BAD news, and will likely require us to go to court against the old barn manager who neglectfully exposed her stallion to my mare during the time my mare boarded at her place. The next few months are going to be eventful. Anyway, in the meantime, I started looking up fescue toxicity because I know everyone always says not to give fescue to a pregnant or nursing mare. Apparently, it's not the fescue that's toxic, but it's an endophyte specific to fescue that produces toxicity in a mare's body, and it's caused by a fungus that is spread through the seed. Here's what the article said:

Endophyte Fescue Toxicityby Jim Brendemuehl 
Much of the fescue grass grown in the United States and Canada is infected with an endophytic fungus, which produces several types of alkaloids that are toxic to animals. Fescue toxicity may occur in sheep and cattle, as well as in horses, although the syndromes are different. In sheep and cattle we see "fescue foot" and "fescue tail," in which the hooves and tail literally slough off due to avascular necrosis [death from lack of blood vessels]—the alkaloids cause constriction of the blood vessels to the feet and tail. Additionally, a "summer slump" syndrome in growing cattle is characterized by poor condition and lack of weight gains. 
In horses the major abnormalities associated with consuming endophyte-infected fescue are reproductive, with the most common problems occurring in late gestation. The five classic signs of fescue toxicity in the pregnant mare are: 
  • Agalactia--failure to have normal mammary gland development and milk production. 
  • Prolonged gestation—the mare carries 30 to 60 days longer than the normal gestation length of 330 to 350 days, depending on breed. 
  • Dystocia—difficult delivery resulting from a combination of the foal being abnormally large (30 to 60 day's of extra growth) and failure of the mare's pelvic ligaments and muscles to relax, as they would in a normal delivery. 
  • Placental abnormalities—premature placental separation at birth, with the placenta being extremely thickened and edematous [swollen with fluids]. Horsemen call this condition "red bag," describing the presentation at delivery of the red velvety chorioallantois [outside] portion of the placenta instead of the normal glistening white amnion [inside portion of the placenta]. A result of the placenta's premature separation is the disruption of the foal's oxygen supply before delivery. 
  • Neonatal death and dysmaturity—A final piece of the syndrome is a high incidence of fetal or neonatal [newborn] death and dysmaturity, also known as "dummy" foal syndrome. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon, including disruption of the foal's oxygen supply due to the premature placental separation, as well as abnormalities in the foal's endocrine, or hormone, systems--the foal's hormone maturation is markedly delayed, resulting in the foal being maladjusted (dysmature). Such foals typically do not have normal suckle reflexes, are unable to stand, have poor thermoregulation [ability to control body heat], and are depressed and unresponsive. Among the foals that survive delivery the mortality rate is quite high, even with intensive management and care.
Although most of the toxicity seen in mares is associated with the last several months of gestation, problems are also seen earlier in gestation. Mares grazing infected fescue early in the season (January through April) typically have a delayed onset of cyclicity [coming into heat]. Mares grazing endophyte-infected fescue during the first 30 days of gestation have lower pregnancy rates and higher embryonic loss rates than mares grazing endophyte-free fescue. After the first 30 days of gestation and up until the last 30 to 60 days of gestation no greater incidence of abortions has been documented. 
Management for pregnant mares and fescue should include the following practices: 
  • Test all pastures annually for the presence of endophyte. While the fungus is spread only through seed and can't blow from one infected plant to another, infected seeds may be carried by birds and in the fecal material of other animals. Additionally, some so-called endophyte-free seeds are derived from infected seed that has been stored, which results in the fungus becoming dormant; after several years the fungus can reemerge, resulting in toxic alkaloid production. 
  • If the fescue is determined to be endophyte infected, pregnant mares should not be allowed to graze the infected fields or eat infected fescue hay within two months of their due date. The level of toxic alkaloids in hay is not reduced with storage. 
  • If for some reason pregnant mares cannot be removed from infected fescue pastures, they should be treated with the drug domperidone, available through your veterinarian. Although domperidone can be useful in cases where mares are not removed from infected fescue pastures, it is not a magic bullet. Make every effort to prevent pregnant mares from consuming infected fescue grass or hay during the last 60 days of gestation or while they are nursing. 
Supplementing the diet of a pregnant mare grazing infected fescue with grain or legume (alfalfa) hay to dilute the toxins has not proven to be effective in preventing problems, as it has been in cattle. Mares show toxicity when consuming levels of less than 50 parts per billion (ppb), making them much more sensitive than cows to the alkaloids. 
Jim Brendemuehl, DVM, PhD, is an equine Extension veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, where one of his special interests is fescue toxicity in mares. He is one of this site's consulting virtual veterinarians available online to respond to your concerns about draft horse reproduction. This article appeared in Spring 2000 issue of RURAL HERITAGE.

Starbucks CEO to DC: You've been cut off

Wow. I like the direction he's going. I am more concerned about unemployment numbers and lack of jobs than the whole debt ceiling thing, but maybe that's just because I'm more intimately familiar with the job crisis... At any rate, I think withholding campaign money is a great thing because if these assholes aren't keeping the promises they make, why should we fork out money to try to get them elected?

Starbucks CEO to DC: You've been cut off

Monday, August 15, 2011

Feeding a Laminitic Horse | TheHorse

Thought this was a useful article!


Feeding Laminitic Horses
by: Christy West, Digital Editor/Producer
May 01 2007, Article # 9658

We've all heard that pithy little diet saying: "A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips." But while we can lose that weight (really, we can...), a laminitic horse's feet might not heal if he eats the wrong things or in the wrong amounts. So for a laminitic horse, that saying would accurately become, "A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the feet."
What's the best diet for a laminitic horse? It depends. When considering diets for laminitic horses, equine nutritionists divide these horses into two distinct groups:
1.    Horses that became laminitic due to a dietary or metabolic trigger, and
2.    Those that got laminitis due to anything else (mechanical overload, retained placenta, endotoxemia, etc.).
The second group has it pretty easy; it's assumed that they aren't overly susceptible to dietary or metabolic triggers, so they have no special "laminitis diet" requirements (although there are a few considerations we'll discuss later). But for the first group, proper nutrition can go a long way toward keeping them healthier, sounder, and happier. Conversely, the wrong nutrition can send them into a downward spiral ending in euthanasia.
Knowing what caused a horse's laminitis is the first step toward knowing whether he needs a special diet, says Lori Warren, PhD (nutrition and exercise physiology), assistant professor of animal sciences at the University of Florida. In this article, Warren and Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, an equine nutritionist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, offer their advice on how to feed these sensitive horses to avoid triggering more episodes of laminitis.
Feed-Sensitive Horses
"Not every horse out there has a problem with lush grass, fructans (a type of storage carbohydrate in grasses), starch, and sugar--the vast majority do not," says Warren. "But if you have a horse with that propensity or a metabolic disturbance, diet change (such as a change in the composition of grass with a change in season) can cause problems."
For such horses, she has the following recommendations: "The number one goal is to gain control over what's going into their mouths. Free-choice feeding (i.e., pasture) is the first thing to go because you just don't know how much they're eating. You should also eliminate starchy grains, especially if that was the trigger--you don't want to trigger laminitis again."
Avoiding the pasture trigger You can't completely control pasture quality to get a uniform feed. Fertilizer, water, temperature, sunlight, and even time of day affect the level of sugars (carbohydrates) in the grass, and too much carbohydrate is just what a sensitive horse can't take. But if you can't control pasture quality, you can control how much time your horse spends on it.
"Controlling pasture access might simply mean less turnout time," says Warren. "You might need to turn him out on a dry lot instead, or turn out for just a few hours instead of all day. I prefer reduced pasture turnout even over a grazing muzzle because over the years I have met a lot of horses that learned to eat through the muzzle well enough that they might as well not be wearing one."
Ralston adds, "Sugars accumulate in grasses later in the day, so if you turn these horses out on pasture, do it in the mornings. Do not turn them out after an overnight freeze or after a prolonged drought (both conditions cause accumulation of sugars in grasses). In these conditions, you start keeping them off grass more and more. Also avoid overgrazed pastures, because when they're overgrazed, grasses accumulate a lot of sugar. Plus, sugars are higher at the base of the stems, which is what horses eat when the tops are gone."
Avoiding the grain trigger "Avoid anything like sweet feeds, avoid high starch intakes--most of these horses are obese anyway," Ralston advises. "You don't need to feed them grain or concentrate. But most owners will not go with the idea of just offering hay, salt, and water because they feel like they have to offer them something at feeding time. If you have other horses that are fed regularly in plain view of your 'problem' horse, do what I do with my fat pony--feed a few hay cubes soaked in water (two or three timothy cubes). They fluff up in the water, and I feel like I'm giving her more, but those few hay cubes won't founder her."
Alternate calorie sources "If a laminitic horse is thin and needs more calories, feed beet pulp or a forage-based feed with edible oil added (not mineral oil)," says Ralston.
"They can handle more calories from fat and fiber, but not starch," says Warren. "But a horse that's overweight to begin with doesn't need those calories; he doesn't need grain, so he doesn't need beet pulp or oil either."
Don't forget the basics Ralston reminds us that all horses, including laminitic ones, need plenty of water and free access to salt. "Give them at least 10 gallons of water a day; never let their water bucket go dry," she recommends. "As for salt, if they eat a whole lot of salt out of boredom, just use a plain white salt block. If they don't eat so much, a mineral block is okay."
Starvation Isn't the Answer
By now, it might be logical to think these feed-sensitive horses should be on a strict diet from all feeds. But starvation isn't the answer--feeding the right feeds is.
"These horses need forage," states Ralston. "Especially with chronically obese, laminitic horses, if you starve them and feed very limited amounts for long periods, they start to mobilize more of their body fat. This is good, but they can overmobilize. Excessive mobilization of body fat causes hypertriglyceridemia--high levels of fat in the bloodstream. That has to be handled by the liver, and if it's overworked they can get actual liver damage called fatty liver syndrome. It has been documented a lot in fat cats and ponies, especially when they go off feed for a few days.
"The older, more mature grass hays are fine--the stuff that most people will send back to the dealer," she goes on. "Feed limited amounts (1.5-2.0% of their body weight), divided into three or four feedings per day. Try to avoid prolonged fasting in these guys; you can give them really low-quality hay, just something to chew on for most of the day, then give them quality hay maybe twice a day."
Vitamins, Protein, and Minerals
In general, Warren notes that supplementing vitamins and minerals is often needed if a horse is overweight and you're trying to control his intake. "When you seek out stemmy, more mature, low-calorie hay so they have to eat more to meet their needs, that hay might not be high enough in vitamins and minerals," she says. "In that case, pairing with a supplement is a good strategy.
"In an ideal world you would get the hay and pasture tested and work out the horse's needs from there," she goes on. "But in the real world most people don't buy hay in bulk and don't know the nutrient concentration of their pasture, so the nutrients that are missing are unknown."
Ralston notes that even with lower- quality hay, supplements are usually unnecessary in adult horses that are not in heavy work. If your hay analysis shows that your horse does need a supplement, she gives the following advice: "Go with one good supplement and find out the protein in the hay. If the hay is really low-quality, feed a supplement that contains some protein and a good balance of vitamins and minerals. You do want them to get adequate protein to heal the feet (at least 10% of the total diet or 1.5-2.0 total pounds of protein per day for an adult horse)."
As for specific vitamins and minerals, no vitamin or mineral has yet been proven to improve healing in laminitic feet, she says. "Knowing what goes into collagen formation and bonding, biotin and methionine won't hurt and might help, but you don't want to start throwing cups of methionine on the feed," she notes. "They're micronutrients and should be fed in micro amounts. Thirty milligrams of biotin is less than one-quarter of a teaspoon."
The Complete Feed Option
To completely control your horse's feed intake, you might turn to a complete feed--one that's designed to provide all the horse's nutrient needs without adding any hay or pasture. What could be easier and more controlled than dumping his entire ration out of a bag like you might feed a dog or cat? But this approach isn't perfect either.
"These are kind of a neat feed source because everything is in the bag, but the biggest drawback is the lack of chew time, because that's their sole source of nutrition," says Warren. "They work well for dogs and cats because they are not designed to eat all day (like a horse is). But with complete feeds, in two hours horses can eat all the nutrients they would eat in about nine hours of grazing, and if you add hay for chew time, you add another component to their diets."
"I'd rather see owners go with the forages as much as they can," says Ralston. "Complete pelleted feeds are meant to be fed in large amounts, so their nutrient concentration is lower. Don't feed them as a supplement by themselves. They are good in a boarding barn when other horses are getting feed twice a day; it's good to give them something to rattle around in the bucket because if they are getting nothing and everyone else is, it raises their stress levels.
"Total mixed ration cubes that are forage-based and formulated to be fed free-choice would be an option if they are available in your region," she adds. "We have had very good success with such a product with our weanling/yearling horses. We feed them free-choice and supplement only salt and water."
Feeding Horses with Other Causes of Laminitis
We've spent most of this article on horses that are sensitive to carbohydrates, but we haven't forgotten those that aren't. These horses are not thought to need special diets, but Warren says that regardless of the cause of laminitis, the damage it causes in the feet is the same and warrants some vigilance.
"From that perspective, maybe we don't want to stress the animal any further by putting them in a situation that might result in carbohydrate overload," she comments. "I wouldn't be as restrictive as I would for a horse with a diet trigger, but I would certainly monitor the diet. It would also be good to know how much damage was done to the laminae--if there was more damage, I'd take more care with the diet.
"Over time, repetitive minor (carbohydrate overload laminitis) insults make it worse," she goes on. "And even in a horse that had road founder (from mechanical overload), if he had a lot of damage, a small carbohydrate overload could push him over the edge, while that would be only a minor issue in a horse with undamaged feet."
For this reason, Ralston notes that she would be very careful feeding grain to a previously foundered horse, even if he did not have a dietary trigger. If you need help designing a diet for your horse, Ralston suggests asking an equine nutritionist, preferably one that is certified through the American College of Veterinary Nutrition ( or the Equine Science Society (
Take-Home Message
Regardless of the cause of laminitis, exercising caution when feeding affected horses is the humane thing to do. Particularly for horses that are sensitive to high-carbohydrate and high-sugar diets, nutrition can either help them heal and become comfortable, or it can result in severe, chronic pain. Feed these horses a low-sugar, forage-based diet to give them their best shot at soundness.


Put simply, a carbohydrate overdose changes the population of bacteria in the horse's hindgut, causing an explosion in the population of Streptococcus bovis bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins, which contribute to the damage of the intestinal lining and subsequently leak out into the bloodstream. From there, the toxins appear to either directly or indirectly stimulate increased production and activity of certain enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The overactivity of these enzymes destroys the laminae--interlocking leaflike tissues holding the hoof onto the coffin bone. Now the horse has laminitis, which strikes with varying severity depending on the degree of the insult.
The concern with horses whose laminitis was triggered by diet is that those horses, for whatever reason, are more susceptible to that dietary trigger than other horses. Thus, their diets must be modified to avoid that trigger in the future.
Obese and/or insulin-resistant horses are also at greater risk of developing laminitis, although researchers don't yet understand the exact mechanisms for this. Managing these animals' diets to keep them at a healthier weight and avoid high levels of dietary carbohydrates helps reduce their risk of future laminitis episodes. --Christy West

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yay for the saddle fitter!

Did I happen to mention that my beloved Passier will fit my beloved turd gelding again? It comes home from Mr. Saddle Fitter Fred on the 20th. Mr. Turd is in desperate need of his Passier to come back because his turdiness is growing by the day, as is his grass belly. I don't mind the grass belly, but I DO mind the manners. I had to whack his hiney the other day and drive him away from me after he got a little too pushy. He's been being a little shit the last couple of days, mostly because he feels GOOD!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sorry for the absence...

So, almost 3 weeks ago (July 17th), I broke my ribs and haven't had much to report horsey wise because of it. I went to visit my friend, Peggy, and the weekend started off great but ended badly. Friday was fabulous and spent with friends out on the town. Saturday was a great day with a trip to Nashville for lunch, shopping, and a horse show. Sunday started out well with a trail ride, but the mount I was on, Sterling, had reached his limit with the horseflies at the end of the ride. When we were on our way back, he let out a huge buck because of a flie then twisted sideways to the left, and because I was caught offguard, I sailed over his right shoulder. Long story short, he freaked out, his eyes got as big as saucers, and he tried to bolt. As he turned to run back down the trail, he accidentally pushed off of my body with his right hind while turning. I was trying to roll away from him and so he only got me on the side of the ribcage under my arm instead of square in the chest. So instead of crushing my sternum and heart and possibly killing me, he instead sank his foot in my ribcage and it buckled. Imagine stepping on something, like a cylinder, and it buckling then popping back out. That's about what my chest did.

Since then, I have not ridden. It still hurts to lay on my side or on my back, and I am still having trouble sleeping through the night. I've had to put off 3 lessons now and am putting off more lessons with a new trainer that I haven't started with yet. I might have the option of sending Ivan to the trainer's at the end of the month if we're both a good match with the trainer, but I don't want to send him until I'm sure, and going to the trainer's will probably mean not getting to show this season. Stupid ribs! They're spoiling all my plans for this season! I'm not particularly thrilled :(