Category Archives: Horses
Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful, warm, almost 70F day. After 4 days of heavy rain I could not stand to stay in the house. Well one thing led to another and I found myself planting sugar pea seeds in the planting bed even though it might be a few weeks early. I decided I needed to have more bone meal for this bed and took off to the garden center.
In my spring fever mode I forgot the farrier was due yesterday to trim the horses feet. Not a big deal he does it all the time. Brings the horses in the barn, trims them up and puts them back out and leaves the bill tacked to the stall door.
Was I ever sooooo embarrassed when I realized I the barn had not been cleaned yet for the day. Dick assumed I did it and I was thinking he was doing it when I looked and saw him up there. No he was looking for tools…So here I was last night walking to the barn to put the horses in for the night and I notice just how bad the front of the barn looks at the moment. The wind blew the door right off it’s hinges 2 days ago and we haven’t fixed it yet. Well, who wants to fix a door in the pouring rain if you don’t need to? I walk in the barn and it is a MESS! Oh my goodness, not just a little mess but a BIG mess and the farrier had to work in there! That poor guy must have been thinking to himself what the heck is going on around here?! Doors on the ground, the horses covered in mud and the barn dirty. Our barn NEVER stays dirty, it gets cleaned and swept every morning. The horses well, they have a mind of their own and love to roll in the mud and there is plenty of it at the moment.
But not yesterday morning it was SPRING and it felt like it. I got caught playing hookie (if only for a few hours) from my barn chores. The horses were tucked in their stalls all nice and clean last night with a fresh new thick layer of saw dust on the floor to roll in.
On the bright side it’s promises to be another beautiful day here and the barn door is up on the saw horses for repairs and to be re-hung. Yes, while I was out yesterday after bone meal I also brought home a new set of hinges for the barn door. Oh’ and the baby chicks, I had to stop and play with the chicks while at the farm store, too. I pat myself on the back that no chicks came home with me, it was hard but I didn’t bring any home. That might have turned out different if they were pullets and not straight run however. NH Reds one of my favorite birds.
It seems to me I haven’t been around here much. Every time I turn around something has happened and I have to leave the farm. It’s putting me behind schedule and making me tired plus a bit stressed that things are going undone around here.
Not being here means I have to make up the lost time when ever I can. Today was a weekly trip to one of Daisy’s therapist so I brought along with me my seed catalogs. Seems I was just saying they are coming earlier every year. Well I have found it useful. I have most of the garden planned for the coming season. While I receives several strange looks for having my catalogs open all over the floor of the waiting room and sitting in the middle of them with colored markers drawing maps, circling things and making notes, checking old notes in the back of my gardening binder. One gentleman even walked past and had to turn around to ask me what catalogs I was looking at. Seems he is a gardener too, so I tore the address of the back of each and gave them to him to order his own. It was a good start to the gardining season and an hour well spent.
Over the weekend Sage managed to get into some sort of trouble and came back to the barn for the night with her eye lid just about ripped off. A call to the vet, 6 stitches later and me holding a bill for over $3oo Sage is all patched back together, and on the mend.
I had a chance to make more english muffins from the recipe I have been trying out. This time I used all whole wheat flour instead of the mixed I tried last time. No one noticed the difference, but I did in the nutritional value of them. I’ll post the recipe when things calm down a bit.
Christmas came and went, we had a lovely quiet day. I spent the day cooking and knitting and we enjoyed a good meal in the afternoon with family. Christmas Eve we were invited by some friends to attend Christmas Eve Mass with them. We went & the kids in their costumes for the play were all so cute. I had a chance to visit with some friends from town I haven’t seen recently and that was about it.
I’ve been praying to the snow gods for snow and today the while fluffy stuff started falling. Now usually I don’t hope for snow since I HATE and REFUSE to drive in it, don’t ski, or snowmobile. I do manage time to snowshoe and ice fish a bit later in the season but for the most part I have no use for it. This year is different it means Dick will be starting up the plow truck and going to work.
I have plans on starting a new experiment in growing some salad greens inside in the window. I have never tried it so will let you know how that goes.
Hope you are all enjoying your days,
This was in my mail box yesterday morning and it made my day. Hope you have a wonderful day. We are off to pick raspberries before it starts to rain.
TO: President Barack Obama
RE: Economic Recovery Stimulus Ideas
Mr. President, it has come to my attention that you’re having some challenges with the economy. If I understand things correctly, we’re in a recession, consumer confidence and spending is down, credit is tight, investors are spooked, we need renewable energy, and health care costs are through the roof. Trillions of dollars, not to mention our future, are at stake. Mr. President, I’m just a regular citizen, but I think I have a solution.
Give every American a horse.
My proposal may not make sense to you at first, but let me give you a little background. First of all, horses in the U.S. are a multi-billion dollar industry, and that’s just at my house. I suggest you have your economic advisors do a little research on the spending around horse ownership. You’d be surprised, Mr. President.
Start by visiting the tack and clothing retailers like State Line or Dover. Look at the variety of goods available there. Now take into account that every horse owner, especially if it’s a woman, is buying not just one or two, but tons of these items. Believe me.
So my thinking is that if you give every American a horse, starting when they reach the horse-receptive age of 10, you’re going to do two things: boost consumer confidence and boost spending immediately.
Horses make us feel good, and once Americans all own horses (at the government’s expense, of course), they will all logically fall into the pattern that every horse owner succumbs to: accessorizing. For starters, we need horse-care implements like buckets and muck rakes, hoof picks and curry combs. And we need at least basic tack, halter, leadline, saddle, saddle pad, bridle and bit. But then the fun begins.
Zebra print leg wraps. Neon bright fly masks. An assortment of sheets and blankets for all seasons; you’ve got your cooler, your light weight blanket, your medium blanket, your heavy blanket. Then there is your stable sheet and your pasture sheet. Also your hoodie, and tail wrap items.
And that’s just the clothing for the horse. Don’t get me started on the clothing for the rider, even if he or she doesn’t show. Since most Americans don’t have a basic riding wardrobe, the stores would be swamped for jeans, boots, breeches, T-shirts, dozens of pairs of cute boot socks, and the ubiquitous ball cap. Tell the retailers to get ready. It’ll be Christmas all year long.
Now let’s talk about support industries. In addition to the usual veterinarian and farrier expenditures, people also give their horses chiropractic, massage and acupuncture, not to mention buying more beauty products for their horses than they do for themselves. All those professions and industries will benefit. And of course there will be a big spike in hay and grain demand, so the farmers will be happy too.
You see, that’s the secret to jump-starting consumer spending through my stimulus package. People will spend money on their horses when they won’t spend money on anything else.
But, your advisors might say, theres a catch. Aren’t we paying the price, in global warming, of the large number of livestock animals we currently have? They produce all that methane!
Ah, Mr. President, here is the real beauty of this idea. When you introduce the Methane-Assisted Natural Unrefined Renewable Energy plan (M.A.N.U.R.E.), you’ll be a hero for coming up with an alternative, renewable, home-grown source of clean energy. Just challenge the energy gurus to come up with a methane gas collectio system that can harness all the natural resource produced by all those horses to power our cities. Talk about shovel ready projects:
M.A.N.U.R.E. fits the bill!
And you keep stressing how we need new industries for investment; well, under the M.A.N.U.R.E. plan you can sell Petroleum Offset Opportunity units to investors. By buying these units, investors can help us gradually convert from a petroleum-based economy to one based on horse P.O.O.
Health care costs will go down, too, as everyone cares for their horses.
You can give tax credits based on the amount of time people spend working, riding and hanging out with their horses, which will automatically make them healthier. (Don’t tell the docs, but most horse owners already get their own basic healthcare from their vet.)
One more thing: everyone is annoyed by these corporate CEOs and their big bonuses in a down economy. So give the executives, say, one horse for every $100,000 of bonus money they’ve received. Those bonuses will be plowed back into the economy in no time.
Finally, because you, Mrs. O, and the girls are such role models, you can encourage us all by getting a pony for Sasha and Malia. It will teach them responsibility, help the First Lady plow the garden, and as a bonus: free fertilizer for the Rose Garden.
If you don’t believe me that horse ownership stimulates spending, go ahead, Mr. President. Buy that pony for your girls… You’ll see.
A swarm of deer flies will drive a horse through the fence faster than any thing I know.
There is no one simple answer to controlling flies. They must be managed at all stages of their life cycle. Good pasture, barn and chicken coop management is the first place to start. Be sure you are managing manure properly. Clean the barns, paddocks and fields daily. Move manure away from the places the animals live. Spread it out so it will dry. Dry manure is not attractive to flies for laying eggs. Less hatching flies means less adult biting flies.
In the Barn
- Keep this as clean and dry as possible. Remove wet and soiled bedding daily and replace with clean dry bedding.
- Keep the floors dry and sweep them down daily.
- Knock down those cob webs.
- Wash and dry sweaty tack, horse boots, blankets, halters, buckets, feed buckets, storage areas, muck buckets, wheelbarrows, shovels and forks.
- Keep the hoof trimmings picked up, feed off the floors, and keep feed storage buckets covered.
- Clean and disinfect the floors, stall mats and walls. A good scrubbing with white vinegar and a rinse with water works well. This should be done at least twice a year, in the spring and fall.
- Keep your animals clean and healthy.
- Hang fly tape in places where the flies hang out, up around the rafters is a good place as well as dark corners out of drafts.
In the yard
- Keep the manure picked up daily. (horses, cats, dogs, chickens…all animals)
- Keep the weeds and bushes down.
- Sprinkle the manure pile with DE and keep it spread out until completely dry then pile to compost. Turn the compost pile frequently.
- Hang fly traps away from where animals hang out.
Our next line of defence for these is internal. It’s called feed through fly control. I feed the horses a product called Bug Check. It’s basically grape seed, garlic, brewers yeast and diatomacous earth (DE). This can also be fed to other animals with good success.
This powder controls the hatching of flies in the barn yard and helps to control the flies that wander into the yard to lay their eggs in lovely places for flies. It also breaks the internal cycle of parasites in the animal. Garlic and brewers yeast are a good deterrent to mosquitoes and black flies.
During the summer I also add a splash of cider vinegar to all the animals water buckets. This will raise the Ph of their blood and help deter flies.
The use of fly masks with ear protection and leg wraps on the horses helps both in the field and on trail rides. And also keeping them in the barn in the early morning and evening when black flies and mosquitoes are at their worst. Flies are worst during the heat of day.
A simple fan running to create a draft will keep flies out of the barn.
I also use essential oils, lavender and tea tree are my favorite although there are others that work I always have these handy and use them for other things as well. A couple of drops on the fly mask, halter, collars once a week is all that is needed.
And lastly when the day is very bad I use a home made fly spray.
- old spray bottle (mine is an old fly spray bottle from the tack store)
- cider vinegar
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 20 drops vegetable glycerin
Fill the bottle 2/3rds full with vinegar, fill the rest of the way with water. Add the essential oils and glycerin. The glycerin helps the oil mix with the vinegar and water.
Shake well before using.
Be careful not to get this in their eyes or other sensitive spots. For those areas I spray the mix in my hand and rub it around the area.
This recipe works well on the horses, the dog and us.
Fly repellent for wounds & around bandages
1 Tbl. tea tree oil
3/4 cup distilled or sterile water
spray the area. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and natural insect repellent.
Speaking of ears, you know that white crusty stuff that forms in the horses’ ears during the summer? This is a reaction to the nasty fly bites. A fly mask with ear protection will avoid this. But in case you missed using the mask one day or a pesky field mate (* I won’t mention who does that all the time.) tore it off and dropped it some where down in the lower field, this will help.
- 1 Tbl. tea tree oil
- 4 tbl. shea butter
- 2 tbl. bees wax
Melt the bees wax carefully in the microwave, stir in the shea butter and melt again. Let cool a bit and stir in tea tree oil. Pour into a clean container. Coat the inside of the ear with a thin layer ever other day or so. The ears will clear right up and this also keeps the flys away.
Do not put too much in as it may drip into the ear canal when it is warmed. A thin layer is all that is needed.
And finally encourage your neighbors to practice good fly control if they have animals too.
*I sewed a piece of reflective tape to the fly masks, and after dark I take a flash light and go to find it.