Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy New Week!

Good Monday morning to all! I know some may conjure up their own version of the Monday Morning Blues when beginning a new week. I am choosing to think of Monday mornings differently. No matter how bad I screwed up last week I have a fresh start on Monday morning. Why not get up a little earlier to fit in a nourishing meal, take some time to meditate and exercise or write a blog post? The slate is clean. The canvass is blank. As Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says, *"You are one blink of an eye from being fully awake." So, why not wake up early, forgive yourself for your mistakes and and start anew! Happy new week everyone!

*(Start Where You Are, A Guide to Compassionate Living)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Shout Out to the NibbleNet!

My horse Finally is eating from his NibbleNet
Hello and thanks for reading this post! I want to say up front that as of now, any products that I mention here are strictly because I like them and they work for me. I will let you know if I get to the point of having sponsors for this blog but right now I don't! I have used NibbleNets from time to time over the twelve years I have had my horses. I have recently started using them on a regular basis. Why you may ask? Because I moved my horses to a new location with very sturdy wooden fencing. The wooden fence posts are a perfect place to attach the nets! (Before I had only solar power electric fence). The NibbleNets are great for several reasons. They are designed to SLOW down eating which is better for digestion. The nets also make it nearly impossible for the horses to get a leg or a foot caught up in them (Yes, this is a thing! I had it happen once and it was so frightening). My horses also seem to prefer eating from the NibbleNets as opposed to eating from the ground. Why? I think that pulling hay from the bag is more like pulling grass from the ground. They seem very happy pulling a little hay and then chewing it up. NibbleNets are available through various retailers and are made in the USA! The makers have a Facebook page and I am including a link to their website!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dead birds in your water trough? Fix the problem by adding a bird bath!

My Simple Bird Bath

Hello! I'm back again after a rather long hiatus! Trying to find time to write has been a struggle for me to say the very least! I have had the great pleasure lately of listening to some amazing people through the miracle of podcasts and the wisdom imparted has really helped! One of my favorite podcasts is the Brian Buffini show. A recent interview I listened to on the Brian Buffini show was with Brian Tracy who is a success expert and best-selling author. I am implementing some of his strategies on how to to organize time to get the maximum done. I've just started and the system is working great. So, this is the first post of many to come thanks to the new time management system I have learned! Now, on to the post..... Have you ever discovered a dead bird in your horse's water trough? The poor little thing. Then there is the issue of having to dump water and clean the trough. Providing a simple bird bath near the water trough not only saves the birds but also may save you from discovering bird poop in your horse's drinking supply. A double bonus! An old feed bucket with a rock in the middle is all you need. The rock is important because it gives the birds a place to land and take-off from. Just clean the bird bath and add new water when you re-fill your horse's trough to prevent mosquitos from breeding in it. This is an easy solution to a big problem. I hope you will try it.

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!