Sunday, September 30, 2012

Horse Camping!

So, horse camping was fun. Deb Sims and I packed up two of our babies and hauled to Wind Creek, but we knew our trip would be cut short by the rain. We got in five hours of riding, plus did some naughty riding on a pier where we weren't supposed to be in the dark. I think we pissed off the fishermen at the end of the pier, and they never looked up or acknowledged us, LOL. We ended the evening with steaks, a nice campfire, and I polished off most of a bottle of Merlot. We woke up twice in the middle of the night when first a mouse crawled across Deb's sleeping bag, and then the second must have been when the mouse accepted a dare from its buddies because it crawled across my face! Happily not too hungover this morning, and we picked up croissan'wichs from Burger King. On our way home now to build a chicken coop!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Winter Nutrition Program

So, here's my feed plan for the winter. Mama mare falls under the easy keeper description. IF I can get Captain's weight up, I might put him on Enrich 32 as well, and that's a crapload less expensive than Ultium. I love Ultium products, but dear lord they're expensive. And Enrich 32 is a great feed if he can maintain his weight. Anywho, the caloric requirements for a horse on a light work schedule are 15,000 kcal/day, and about 25,000 for a horse in moderate work. Winter caloric requirements are higher since they shiver some of it off, so I'm calculating a higher caloric intake for all of the easy keepers, active maintenance, and higher maintenance horses.

Easy Keeper
kcal Food Amount & Time
750 Enrich 32 1/2 lb AM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb AM (soak after weighing)
750 Enrich 32 1/2 lb PM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb PM (soak after weighing)
17000 F/C Grass/Hay 20 lbs hay daily intake
21250 F/C Grass/Hay 25 lbs hay daily intake
20618 kcal w/ 20 lbs hay
24868 kcal w/ 25 lbs hay

Active Maintenance
kcal Food Amount & Time
1500 Enrich 32 1 lb AM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb AM (soak after weighing)
1455 Alf Pellets 1.5lb PM (added to soaked beep)
438.5 Flax 1/2c AM
1500 Enrich 32 1 lb PM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb PM (soak after weighing)
1455 Alf Pellets 1.5lb PM (added to soaked beep)
438.5 Flax 1/2c AM
17000 F/C Grass/Hay 20 lbs hay daily intake
21250 F/C Grass/Hay 25 lbs hay daily intake
25905 kcal w/ 20 lbs hay
30155 kcal w/ 25 lbs hay

Harder Keeper
30kcal Food Amount & Time
5400 Ultium 3lbs AM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb AM (soak after weighing)
1455 Alf Pellets 1.5 lb AM (added to soaked beep)
700 Rice Bran 1/2 lb  AM
438.5 Flax 1/2 cup AM
5400 Ultium 3lbs PM
1059 Beet Pulp 1 lb PM (soak after weighing)
1455 Alf Pellets 1.5 lb PM (added to soaked beep)
700 Oil 1/2 lb PM
438.5 Flax 1/2 cup PM
17000 F/C Grass/Hay 20 lb free choice hay
21250 F/C Grass/Hay 25 lb free choice hay
35105 kcal w/ 20 lb free choice hay
39355 kcal w/ 25 lb free choice hay

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



Great article about eggs!

The short version: Free range eggs are less likely to have salmonella than battery-laid eggs at the grocery, not as much junk (antibiotics, hormones, steroids) in them either, and nutritional differences are rather significant. See excerpt below:

Nutrient Differences in Conventional Eggs Compared to Free Range Eggs

The comparison between conventional battery-raised eggs and free ranges eggs is stunning. Mother Earth News had free ranges eggs tested to see what their nutrient levels are and compared the results to the official USDA data for commercial eggs.
The results varied from farm to farm, but the average free range egg results showed:
  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
  • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
  • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 21 times more omega-3 fatty acid
Keep in mind that these eggs were from hens that Mother Earth News considers legitimately free range. They spend all or most of their lives outdoors, roosting in trees if they choose. This is not what is usually meant by free range eggs in supermarkets. Usually, those eggs are from chickens that can hardly be distinguished from battery-raised ones. The requirements for the free range label are laughable, with only limited access to the outdoors—and that does not mean pasture—and often nearly as crowded as those labeled battery-raised. As often as not, the outdoors that supermarket "free range" birds see has no grass, but only concrete under their feet, and no real space to roam.

Lunging Babies

Babies' New Tricks :)

What a day! First, I ended up working some babies. This was not planned, but it was good for them :) Pippa and Queen both did some learning on the lunge today, about 20 minutes apiece.

Queenie and Pippa were also introduced to cordless clippers today. Whisker clipping was not entirely successful... but I did get a bridle path clipped on Queen. She wasn't entirely thrilled, but she tolerated it. Both are ok with the clippers being on, both are ok with the device touching them on the shoulder, but neither are quite ok with getting their whiskers done just yet... I think it tickles too much. Captain and Classy Lady, however, treated the clipping idea like it was old hat and are freshly dewhiskered :)

After that, Captain and Classy Lady both did some arena work and then hacked out afterward. I am loving the big, dark monster :) After hosing off some sweaty ponies, went to Home Depot with Carin and had fun picking out herbs for her new pallet herb garden! I am excited to see how hers turns out, and interested in doing one of my own! Last but not least, met a potential new boarder tonight who seems pretty cool. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for a new riding buddy since she also does dressage.


The truth will set you free; but first, it will piss you off.


I really, really, REALLY want to make one of these for Captain!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Good luck, CRF M&M Biscotti

Such an eventful day so far! My Cookie donkey is so upset, her baby, CRF M&M Biscotti, has a wonderful new home with Charmie Eddington at our friend Deb Sims's farm. Charmie and her husband James picked up our Biscotti this morning and transported him home.

After they left with their new baby, Carin and I went for a nice long ride on Classy Lady and Captain. Lots of walking and trotting, lots of hill work, and probably a good 8 miles worth of terrain covered. Captain forgot he was not a racehorse only once, and overall was a very good boy :) He just doesn't want his mare leaving him behind! His gimpy butt actually passaged and piaffed his way up the trail when I wouldn't let him take off after Classy Lady... For an old man, I am impressed with his moves.



full blooded german sheperds - $150 (pell city)

Date: 2012-09-23, 2:00PM EDT [Errors when replying to ads?]

full blooded german shepered puppies for sale $100.00 with out papers $150.00 with papers for more information please call Marie Burton
205-338-0812 or 205-362-3852 if no answer please leave a message thank you 

Full blooded? While I am aware that this is a common slang term, it makes me think of stupid questions, such as "Well, do you think it's body could be half filled with blood instead of fully filled with blood? Of course it is full of blood." But then, the answer is still obvious... And then this bullshit of $100 without papers and $150 with papers... they're either papered or they aren't, aren't they? They're either registered, or they're not? You really charge an extra $50 just to be able to have the documentation? At any rate, the price and the ad show this person to be a backyard breeder anyway. A good bloodline with a breeder that culls for bad traits and spays/neuters pet quality animals will demand a price appropriate for what they have. This sounds like yet another backyard breeder trying to make a buck off some animals...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anchor's away

Yay Chiropractor!

So, the chiropractor came this morning. She says he definitely had some stuff out of whack in his neck and in his hind end, more notably on the right than the left, which we could both have expected. She says that after extended compensating for that right hock of his, he actually has a little muscle loss on the right side compared to the left side in his lower back and right hip. He also has some arthritic changes in his back, and is sore in his back. I think I'm probably going to discuss Adequan injections with Dr. E. once my budget frees up some. We just had to replace brakes and tires on the civic, and now we're going to have to get new tires all around on the truck :( Apparently my vehicles think I have money coming out my ears.

Additionally, I think I've finally got the solid reason I need to go ahead and sell my Albion if it isn't fitting him well enough. It sucks, but if he is sore partially from saddle fit and not just the arthritis, then I might as well get rid of it since it doesn't fit my butt anyway. I am little, but I have a lot of cushion to my butt, and a deep seat doesn't sit well and pushes up against my tush too much, causing me to arch my back and deactivate my core.

So anyway, that's his update as of this morning. He's much more comfortable now after she worked on him, and he'll be worked on again next month, so hopefully between now and then I'll have a new saddle that fits the two of us and we'll see how much more comfortable he might be with a new saddle and Adequan injections. I think I'll go the Adequan route instead of continuing the Smartpaks... it might end up a little more expensive, but I'm more concerned with efficacy and his comfort when I ask him to do what we do. Dr. E. told me he likes Adequan better than any oral supplements, so worst case scenario we'll try it, and if it doesn't work well enough we'll switch back to the Smartpaks.

Oh yeah, and I managed to get him eating powdered stuff :) I started adding powdered MSM to his grain because my mare gets it, and mixed in with Ultium Competition, he eats everything and licks his bowl clean. It's handy that he'll eat anything with Ultium because otherwise I'd have had trouble giving him the compounded powder feed through ulcer meds, and the paste is way more expensive. That's great for my wallet, since it is cheaper to give powdered MSM and biotin than pelleted, and gives extra budget for his new stabilized rice bran pellets.

Haha, I must remember when working the baby on the lunge...

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Horse | Encourage Horses to Pass Scary Objects, Scientists Recommend

The Horse | Encourage Horses to Pass Scary Objects, Scientists Recommend:

'via Blog this'

Encourage Horses to Pass Scary Objects, Scientists Recommend

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
September 20 2012, Article # 20652

Imagine the scenario: You're out on a trail ride and suddenly your horse spooks at, say, a scary-looking tree stump near your path. You have three choices:
1.     Encourage your horse (with your legs, voice, reins, crop, etc.) to move toward the stump to find out it's not so scary after all;
2.     Be patient, allowing the horse time to figure out that the stump really isn't so scary in his own time; or
3.     Turn around and go home (or take a different path) and flee that scary stump.
What do you choose to do, and what's best for your horse?
Danish equitation scientists recently investigated this question. They found that if you want to get past the stump, Choice 1 could be better for both you and the horse, even though it might be more stressful than Choice 2. Janne Winther Christensen, PhD, presented on the topic at the 8th International Society for Equitation Science conference, held July 18-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
"Horse riding is a relatively dangerous sport, and habituation to new objects has been known to reduce the risk of accidents," said Winther Christensen, a research scientist at the faculty of agricultural sciences at Aarhus University in Tjele, Denmark. "If an animal avoids or escapes an object and can get away from it, that avoidance behavior gets reinforced, and the animal is likely to repeat the behavior. But also, studies in other species have shown that prevention of innate behavior (flight response) can lead to increased stress in the animal. So we wanted to find out what was best for horses."
Christensen and colleagues studied 22 Danish Warmblood geldings (aged two to three years old) separated into two groups learning to get accustomed to open umbrellas on the ground. Handlers encouraged each horse in one group to approach the umbrellas using negative reinforcement (in this case, pulling on the halter and lead line). Horses in the second group were released, one at a time, in the arena with the umbrellas and allowed to take their own time exploring them. On the following day, each horse from both groups was taken individually into the arena where he could find buckets of food next to the umbrellas. On both days, researchers evaluated the horses' heart rates and behaviors and recorded the time it took for them to approach the umbrellas and the food.
The negative reinforcement group showed much higher signs of stress (heart rate and behavior) than the other group on the first day, Winther Christensen said. But on the second day, they spent less time investigating their surroundings and approached the feed buckets faster than horses in the other group.
"A negative reinforced approach to the habituation of novel objects increases stress response during the first exposure, but it also appears to facilitate habituation to the objects," said Winther Christensen. "However, because the procedure does lead to a temporary increase in stress responses, it should be carefully managed."
Winther Christensen also cautioned that her results were specific to her study and might not apply to all scenarios. "It may be that a stimulus of a different intensity could give different results," she said. "In general there is a lack of knowledge of different habituation techniques, how effective they are, and how they affect horses."
Further studies are under way, she said.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Catch rides and cantering lead changes

Such a great evening today! Many thanks to Carin for working my mama mare :) I can trust you to make her gait correctly and really make her work! It's nice when you have a catch-ride friend who also used to instruct and train. Captain and I rode out with Classy Lady and Carin and had a glorious time despite the threatening rain clouds. We nearly got rained out, but instead we did lateral work, canter changes, and even a couple of flying changes up the road (though the second one was not nearly as neat as the first). LOL we kind of skittered back and forth across the road on the second request, so since the whole darn ridge is wet and slippery when you get off the chirt, we gave it a rest. Other stuff for the evening, forecast is for a cold snap tonight! The two skinniest ones are sheeted for the evening, and the fat mare is bare :) Poor Queen would be sheeted except that her sheet hasn't come in yet :( Nothing but a blanket in yet, and it's not cold enough for that yet.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Boob proof. Read it and weep.

HN Classifieds: ‘AQHA Boob Proof Gelding – $1500′

You read that right. “He is not scared of nothing”–even boobs, I guess. Oh, Craig’s List.

AQHA registered sorrel gelding, western pleasure and trail riding is what he does. My four yr old can ride him but i only keep him in a large round pen for her. I take him to the local 4-H shows and let kids ride him who dont know how to ride, He is super gentle and he thinks he is a dog. He does not know he is a horse. He is 5 yrs old, shoed and current on coggins. He is not scared of nothing, he doesnt get in a big hurry with anything, he is a BIG HORSE 15 hands plus and weighs probably close to 1000 pounds.. he is very solid and very muscled up. I will not take any less he is worth every penny of 1500, you want find another horse this gentle and kid safe. Feel free to come out and ride him.. Please serious people only…. 662 603 2109 call or text

Holy crap hot wire

Holy shit that hot wire really punches when you're not expecting it in the middle of the night... Damn hot wire line across the gate was sagging due to water weight after the rain, and it touched my metal gate, and I touched it. I don't recommend trying it.


I don't know how some of these people buy and sell their horses like they're toys to be traded...

"I'm tired of this one, let's sell it to someone who will buy it for the most money I can get and then I'll get a new, SHINY one!"

I understand that sometimes someone will take on a horse as a project with the intent of training and rehoming it, but there are people I'm acquainted with who talk about horses they've had in the past like they were a pair of shoes they outgrew.

Why isn't there longevity in their relationship? I've had my mare for eight plus years now, and she will likely die with me and be buried in my pasture some day. Sure she has pissed me off in the past, sure she's not great at dressage, SO WHAT?

I can't imagine rehoming my kids... I understand there is the possibility that it could maybe be required some day, if I were to fall on hard times, if I had to make the hard decision to part with them in order to ensure that they still receive the quality of care they needed... but it would be when the waters were about to swallow me up before that happened.

I think of Ivan when I hear people talking of swapping and trading and selling and buying... and I think of what lengths I'd go to in order to have him back. I miss my horse. I hope he's ok... wherever he is. I still have a hard time thinking of him. Moving forward after a death has so many starts and stops.

Anyway, I just don't know how someone can say "Oh that horse was my HEART horse", but yet they sold them. CLEARLY they don't really know what the term really means.

Foodie yum!

I so need to make this!

The peppers in this sandwich are roasted, and mixed with the tangy goat cheese, salty bacon and sweet apricot preserves it makes for a delightful array of flavors.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Recipe from Cooking and Eating From Away

2 slices sourdough bread
2 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 slices cooked bacon
1 jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoons butter

  • Set the oven to broil and cook the jalapenos until skins blacken and blister. Remove jalapenos from the oven and transfer immediately into a plastic bag or other sealed container. Seal and let steam until cool enough to handle, about 10-20 minutes. Remove blackened skins.
  • Spread one of the slices of bread with the goat cheese. Top with roasted jalapeno peppers, then bacon.
  • Spread the other piece of bread with the apricot preserves, and put on top of the other piece. Butter each side of the sandwich, and toast in saucepan over medium heat until bread is toasted, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Zombie cat!

There are so many people I know that this could be about... LOL I'm going to hell...

Great weekend!

We had an amazing weekend! Captain the big, dark monster was fabulous for me under saddle for both days of the weekend :) We managed to do some very correct shoulder-in, he also gave me haunches in, we did some canter sets on both days, and he rode out alone, no spooks!

I have determined that he is better to his left than to his right, but that was to be expected since his right hock was worse pre-hock-injections than his left one was. He prefers to offer left lead canter over right lead, will even offer counter canter and extended trot in hopes you'll accept, but he will give you right lead canter if you push for it. He gave me very nice work on the lunge when we did a long warm up on the line Saturday morning. I am a little concerned that he may be slightly arthritic in his neck, and poll high work is a little more difficult for him. We did a good bit of long and low work on both Saturday and Sunday since poll high seemed a bit difficult for him on Saturday. A longer warm up in long and low position allowed for more effective use of his neck when we went to a slightly higher position later in the workout.

This guy definitely makes me work for it when I ask for lateral work :) It was really great enforcement for my aids over the weekend because he doesn't give you correct shoulder in or haunches in unless you ask correctly. We managed to get more shoulder-in than haunches-in, but that's because I'm better at asking for that. Perhaps in a longer arena than the one I have, we'd get longer sets of it, but since my arena is only a 20m x 40 m arena, we're missing 20 m worth of length to do the higher level stuff.

I noticed that because he's more stiff on his right, when I asked for the lead change in the arena, he got a little quick and strung out after the lead change. I think he will likely need more conditioning before his transitions become smooth again, plus we really need some instructor eyes on the ground, eyes that know what they're looking at, to really polish this work. It sucks that one of the trainers I like who comes down from Huntsville has been coming down during the week, which used to not be a problem, but now that I work a real jobby job in a lab, I can't take off in the middle of the day during the week. I can only squeeze in on weekends, sadly.

This horse is TONS of fun! I was so very pleased with his performance this weekend :) We're going to take today off since it rained last night, then we're back to work tomorrow afternoon after I get off work.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



I don't think the pony is the one that needs the sedatives.

LMAO! Another instance of horse crazy people...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

OMG SALE! Wait... What?

Great Idea at Shows

"At some high-profile shows, it's even a good idea to pay a security guard to walk the barns all night long," he says. "Each stall should have a sign-in card, and guards should sign in every time they check a stall."

Small Rant About Horse Sellers

Ok seriously, if you're trying to sell a horse, hell, if you're trying to sell ANYTHING, post an ad that makes you sound more educated than a first grader.

"This Mare an 2mnth old foal are up for rehomeing $500 for both momma rides
but hasnt been rode in a little over a yr has been in arenas an rode parades
a few times an just been a good pleasure horse baby is out of poco wayno
stud if need more pics of mother before foal an with her first foal i
have them along with pic of the big boned stud any ?s just ask"
Line 1: Mare should not be capitalized. Also, do you not know the difference between an & and? Spell out the word month and do not attach it to the number 2. Rehoming=rehomeing. Punctuation???
Line 2: Punctuation punctuation punctuation. Also, please spell out year. Do not use an instead of and.
Line 3: And instead of an. For the love of god, PUNCTUATION? Capitalize proper names of the stud.
Line 4: PUNCTUATION!!! "If [you] need... mother before [she had her] foal..." Capitalize I.
Line 5: "[a] pic[ture]..." I realize that pic is now common slang, but still! And do you not know how to spell question?

Shoot me in the face, these people make me want to whack them with pool noodles about their noggins.