Friday, May 13, 2011

Who else has had problems with Blogger?
Okay I can't really say that's why I haven't been here a lot.
Truth be told, I've been riding.
Yes, it's true and I'm just not ashamed one bit.

We have had some beautiful days, perfect to ride. I do tend to be a fair-weather-rider BUT I have plans to change that this Summer. We are finally wrapping up homeschool for the Summer, freeing up quite a lot of my time. A writer's convention, I am attending, will happen soon too and I hope to be so fully inspired....
A fiction, which I've been working on, has 2 main characters that are "equine-centric," and it really helps me get into the character's minds by surrounding myself with, you guessed it, horses. SO I definitely intend on spending a lot of my Summer in the presence of my horse kids.

And being with them doesn't necessarily equal riding.
I wonder if anyone else out there, sits in the pasture with horses and a notebook?
Is that weird? :)

This is my riding buddy on Clyde.
She's 14 and horse crazy, (admittedly so.)
She doesn't have a horse of her own so I am more than thrilled to have her, (a trained and relaxed rider) take Clyde for a spin.
We recently were given the diagnosis that I have anticipated for a very long time. Clyde has "Shivers" a neurological condition that he was born with. Shivers causes a horse to pull up their back feet, sweat, and have extreme difficulty with backing.
The only treatment is frequent work to keep muscles strong.
Having a friend to ride Clyde sure gives me extra peace of mind that we are doing all we can to keep him well.
And now for some other big news.
I am finally going bitless!!!
Rosie has ALWAYS fussed with the bit, excessively so.
The last time I rode she had copious amounts of salivation and was constantly rubbing her face on her leg. It made me so sad to realize the amount of discomfort she must be experiencing. We have tried every bit combination known to man and she constantly fusses. But when I lunge her without the bit, she is focused and r-e-l-a-x-e-d. Ya'll have been talking about it for so long... I guess I'm just slow.
I ordered the Dr. Cook's bitless bridle.
I know Juliette wouldn't steer me wrong.
But now... I WANT your advice.
Have you used the bitless bridle?
Anything I should do to introduce it to my mare?
Have I bitten off more than I can chew? (no pun)
All words of encouragement and/or warning are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Feed a Hound AND a Horse!

Look at those alien eyes!
Never mind, instead look at those beautiful, healthy hounds.
Although we have had some issues with allergies, (Ruby is allergic to chicken,) we have sought out some of the best and most nutritive foods for them and it seems to be paying off, in healthy dogs. Adding fruits and vegetables to their food gives additional antioxidants. Plain yogurt and nut butters add healthy protein and pro-biotics for good digestion. You can read all about that here.

There definitely is a link with good nutrition and good health which brings me to the horses.

There are so many natural supplements available for good horse health. We have been giving Rosie "Mare Magic" for some time now and it seems to make a difference in that little mare. "Mare Magic" is a supplement of dried raspberry leaves that helps to regulate a mare's cycle and thereby her moods. I've been paying quite a bit of money for this supplement because I feel it's worth it... it seems to work on her moods and probably makes her feel physically well too. Of course it never occurred to me, that raspberry leaves are abundant in summer and I can probably make my own "magic." That is until I read that Washashe's Mom has been doing this for a while, with excellent results.

And, our horses face many other health issues, physical and emotional, that can also be greatly remedied through the help of homeopathic aids.
Joe Camp, author of "Soul of a Horse," believes in keeping his horses according to a wild horse model. Of course this doesn't mean denying your horse preventative medicines and medical treatment. Instead Joe is talking about feeding your horse a variety of forage for the best nutrition and most of all, allowing your horse to be a horse!
And offering a widely varied forage is an interesting concept.
Wild horses tend to live longer than domesticated horses, and without all the "extra" stuff that our horses receive. A wild horse, unimpeded, could cover an average of 100 mile in a day... foraging all the while. And just thinking of how flora and fauna can change, in the span of just 100 miles, would lead one to believe that wild horses have an incredibly varied diet. Obviously we can't allow our horse to graze over hundreds of miles. We can, however, supplement their diet with a variety of natural grasses and shrubs that they would seek out if the were wild.
Take for example, the raspberry leaves.
We know these are things that our horses seek out on trail rides and now we also know that there are some healing properties to the plant as well.
Certainly there are many more plants out there with healing qualities, with benefits for digestion or mood or antibiotic properties, that we know and some we don't know yet. So, having said that I have become inspired. I will be doing some research on the healing qualities of plants for horses and will be formulating my own supplements this Summer while the harvest is good. In addition to raspberry leaves I want to dry (in my dehydrator) some things with other benefits as well. Herbs to help digestion, to repel bugs and to offer calm and concentration. And I also want to make it palatable without any added sugars that could have the opposite effect of my intended goals.
In essence, I'm gonna conduct a little experiment! Ya'll wanna join?
Let me know what experiences you have, or have had in the past, with using herbs and native grasses in your horse's diet.
Got any suggestions on the best way to dry or preserve?
I'm dieing to know what ya'll think AND I want to hear any victories or failures you encounter along the way!

And the same for our canine friends....
Anything, about your hound's diet, that your dieing to share?
I wanna know!
...and so does Ruby!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Horse Sense

"And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew his breath over it and created the horse."

-Bedouin Legend

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alas, More Random

Okay so I realize that my photos aren't the best but... I was hoping that this one would show the light shining down from Heaven on this magnificent beverage!
This is my new drink obsession.
The Iced Lavender/Mint White Chocolate Mocha
Hear that?
That's a chorus of angels singing Alleluia!
I know it sounds weird but it truly is delightful.

THIS is only a small portion of the plates I purchased at a yard sale 2 weeks ago.
They are Shenango China and match a set of diner platters which I have already.'
I love them.
All told I got about 50 pieces of this stuff, with 30 being plates, for $10!!!!!
There's that ALLELUIA again.
I will be sharing some with my best friend, Michaela.
(What do you think girl... aren't these awesome?!)

Yes, this picture is blurry. Don't adjust your screen.
BUT I had to show you the most wonderful, moist and flavorful gluten free bread that I have eaten to date.
They carry it at the Kroger bakery now too.
Oh glory Alleluia.

This is how work gets done around here. Just thought the school district might want photographic evidence that, even though unconventional, we DO get some school work done from time to time.

And finally a photo of my extremely talented nephew Will. This is really about some shameless promotion right here!
I just think his art is amazing and wish ya'll would go take a look sometime.
He's funny too.

Busy days. I am finally, REALLY writing that project I have dreamed about for years. At least 2 hours, most days of the week.
I am so scared.
Thoughts and prayers please.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Time Away

Todd the Mule
Who names a mule Todd? I'm not sure but oddly... it fits him.
Last week we took a little trip to North Georgia for a family reunion and we got to meet this guy, the newest member of our clan. My Dad got him for some back country trips.
I couldn't wait to put an English saddle on him and make him a proper gentleman.
With a name like Todd he has to have an English saddle!

My nieces were adorable in their little dresses and proper ladylike riding helmet.

Later I got to take him for a little spin.
I am used to riding Rosie English style, and my Clyde is so good he'll steer any old way. So, I had a little communication problem with Todd. His neck reining and my confusion had him backing and turning. I had to get off, calm down and remount. He was very forgiving though and the rest of our ride was pleasant. My Mom took this photo as Todd asked to come up and say hello to her. He was very curious about the camera.
All in all he has a nice little walk and quite a smooth ride.
He is so stinkin' cute too, no? Can't wait to ride him again.

And a parting shot of 2 of the crew. All the dogs came to Georgia on this trip and got to run my parent's farm from one end to the other. A great time was had by all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Horse Riding Helps Wounded War Veterans

For those of you, who have been reading for a while... you know what a huge chunk of my heart belongs to America's soldiers. And obviously, I have mad love for dogs and horses. I've written about service dogs for vets... and NOW here is a piece on a therapeutic riding program for soldiers. Oh how amazing and wonderful these empathetic animals continue to prove themselves to be!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course Of Course, and a Dog is Still a Dog

Here's a little something that has been on my mind of late.
Why do we (people AKA "two-leggers") sometimes fail to recognize that a horse is a horse and a dog is a dog, and never shall they be parted?
Right here, me, just as guilty as the rest of coddling my animals, (horse and dog.)
But that's not what I'm talking about.
I don't think that baby talk and snuggles with your animals is an attempt to change who they are. But much of what we people do to our pets is at least a failed recognition of who they are. And, how would "we" feel if someone, let's say... our very best friend in the world... consistently failed to recognize who we really are? **Of course animal "feelings" are a discussion best left for another time, (and maybe I'll go there... some of you have already done some outstanding posts that I probably couldn't compete with, on the subject... but maybe I'll go there yet.)** But here's what I'm saying about who we "are" versus what someone might want us to be.

You are a successful airline pilot. You love your job.
You go to a party with your mother (who's always wanted something different for you than to be a pilot,) and your mother introduces you as her, "successful daughter... the lawyer."


Yes, your mother loves you dearly and knows you well. She has cared for you impeccably your whole life and has your best interest at heart. You would never question her love for you BUT... she doesn't know you... doesn't know who you truly are.

I would like to draw this analogy back to our animal friends.
I think some people, good intentioned as they are... don't truly know the animals they love.
Isn't this what Cesar Milan and Monty Roberts have been telling us for years?

Our horses are herd animals, who as such, find security in a group. God made them to run when they are afraid. To congregate as a group for protection. There is an order with horses that sometimes people try to interfere with. No judgments here, because sometimes what we do to our horses is necessary... especially when they are hurt or ill... but often it is for our own human reasons that we subject them to certain things. Why do we isolate horses, tuck them away in stalls, away from the group on a regular basis? Why do we tell ourselves human dramas and tragedies while making the horse the protagonist of our tale? The struggle in a herd for dominance is a necessary part of being a horse. Allowing a horse to go through it, is vital to who that individual is. Giving a horse room to run when afraid is accepting what the horse is. Attributing human characteristics of jealousy, rage, or deceitfulness does no justice to who the magnificent creature truly be.

Same is true of our dogs. Dogs enjoy the security of a pack. Like horses they must run. And where a horse must forage for survival, a dog must follow his predatory instincts and hunt. Granted we don't necessarily need or want our dogs to hunt in the traditional sense... that's why we have dog food right? :) But, in order to acknowledge who a dog "is" we must indulge that desire in him some way. The dog must be given regular, frequent exercise in order to engage that primal part of him. Of who he is. When dogs pee on our floors and chew up our shoes there is only one reason. They need to run. Of course like horses, we can hide them away in cages and there are times when that is necessary. But when a person keeps a dog locked away in a cage for extended hours, without adequate opportunity to work... they are denying who the dog is.

I sometimes feel so frustrated by the incredible numbers of horses and dogs in shelters!
Of course we can implement selective breeding as a means to avoid the abandonment of animals, but that is only a small piece of the puzzle in my mind. The greatest thing we could do is to realize what animals need for survival. Our horses and dogs need more than food, water and shelter. They need for us to acknowledge who they are, and for us to commit to letting them be who they are, for the rest of their lives.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Frankly... I'm shocked by my result!


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!