Sunday, December 11, 2016

Smart Tip For Worming

Spokesmodel Jack showing off our latest worming tools



Doing anything with three draft horses can feel just like a circus performance gone wrong. Which one will steal the other's food? Who will get kicked or bitten. Will the ringmaster (me) get run down? Normally, if you use a paste wormer, the medicine is supposed to be squirted in the back of the throat of the horse. I have one horse (Dave) who will tolerate this while the other two will not. To complicate things further, my veterinarian suggested I do a Panacur power pack treatment for each horse. That is five days of wormer per horse. Yikes! What a hassle! A friend suggested using good old fashion pancake syrup to help make the medicine go down. Basically what I did was squirt the tube of medicine in the feed bucket with their grain, added syrup and mixed the syrup into the wormer and grain. I was skeptical at first but it worked. The horses ate the grain and wormer without any issues! Try this the next time you worm. It works great!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Keep Trying!


I recently (over the last year) lost around thirty pounds and it wasn't easy. I basically ate a low carb diet and exercised about four times a week to and exercise CD (Jillian Michaels 12 Week Challenge) How does this relate to draft horses you may ask? Well if you are a home horse keeper like me staying healthy and strong is paramount. Riding large animals and caring for them requires a core of steel! Even though I  was feeling stronger and better there was a lingering fatigue and trouble sleeping that was taking away joy from my life. Instead of riding on a beautiful day, I napped. Not good! So, instead of chalking these problems up to getting older, I kept searching! I discovered the Stash Plan by Laura Prepon and Elizabeth Troy. Through this plan I learned the importance of gall bladder and liver health. Eating organically is an important part of this plan. And, I started to feel a little bit better! My new discoveries about health have crossed over to my animal's health concerns as well. I started feeding my chickens and organic layer pellet, my dog gets an omega 3 supplement and I am researching a new feed for the horses called Cool Stance which is coconut based!( I found this feed at the Equine Affaire). For me, I feel like a work in progress. I am still not happy with my lingering belly fat. My energy is getting better but not optimized yet! I am trying something new called Carb Cycling (nothing to do with bicycling). I'll let you know how that goes. Whatever quest you are on whether it is fixing a problem with your horses behavior or your personal health, don't give up! Keep trying new things until you find what you are looking for.

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Mysterious Barn Cat

One miserably frigid February morning a few years back, I opened the door to the shed where I keep hay and out streaked a ball of black lightening. I looked into the nearby brush afterward and saw two green topaz eyes checking me out! Oh, no! A stray kitten. When feeding and chores were done, I put out a bowl of dry cat food that I acquired from my aunt's house next door. The food was gone in the afternoon when I returned and Jack (as in Black Jack) and I began our slow dance towards friendship. At first, the only thing I ever saw was those striking green eyes looking out from the bushes as I put the cat food down. Then one day, Jack began his habit of eating lustily from his bowl as I did my other chores. It was then time for twig training! What do I mean by that? Each day, I would take a twig and touch Jack gently with it. Most of the time he would rush away but eventually he got used to it. Now a try for the sweet spot!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

An Affaire To Remember!

If you have never been to the Equine Affaire in either Springfield Massachusetts or the one in Columbus Ohio (April 6-9th 2017) then stop what you are doing and make plans! For those who love horses it is a joyous and amazing experience. Think Christmas morning when you were a child and then add in the day you got your first puppy! The four day event is filled with horses of all breeds, vendors selling everything you need for your herd and some of the best horse people in the world giving clinics and demonstrations. All this for a nominal admission fee! I attended the Equine Affaire that happened last week in Springfield. I bought some great products at the trade show including an item called the Water Wrangler. This is something you attach to your hose and when your trough is filled, the water shuts off automatically! No more over-flowing stock tanks or buckets! I also saw some clinicians who really inspired me to up my training game!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fish!

Who isn't concerned about mosquito larvae in their horse's water trough? Gross right? Not to mention  all those mosquito born diseases. To combat this I utilize goldfish to keep my water clear of larvae. The fish also keep algae down as well. I have had the same fish for many years. They over-winter just fine in my three-hundred fifty gallon tank. The fish eat the grain from the horses mouths when the boys take a drink after eating. One thing I have learned is to move the fish to a different tank after worming the horses. The wormer is toxic to fish if the fish are exposed. Goldfish are a beautiful, fun, practical addition to any farm!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Quality Time

Have you ever wondered if your chores will ever be done? Keeping your own horses at home requires hours of work! Poop patrol alone is a full time job where my big guys are concerned. I find myself spending so much time on the things that need doing that sometimes training gets put off. I know my horses needed training time but I was never good at balancing things out. That is until I had my last session with the farrier. Let me tell you that I love my farrier! He not only trims the horses hooves but also works with them if they behave badly. All three have come a long way from the wild, young horses they once were! The  morning of his arrival, I put flakes of hay out for all the horses to enjoy and

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fabe

Fabe is my "Mr. Personality". He is a Percheron Belgian cross with a wavy mane and tail. Almost from birth he has loved to be groomed. The more styling products the better for this guy. Sadly, a scratched cornea that didn't heal correctly has left him blind in one eye. This doesn't seem to slow him down though. There are special concerns when handling him and during training time but he is worth the extra effort. I have learned from Fabe to go forth in my life with flare, style and unbridled enthusiasm!