Monday, July 19, 2010

Misc Monday

It's hot.  Summer has arrived finally, don't get me wrong I've thoroughly enjoyed our coolish June, and would gladly have a summer in the mid-70's, but it's not to be in Northern CA.  We're hovering in the 90-100 range this week which is normal, but - dry and hot - bleah. Fortunately all the horses are doing well - fat and shiny.  

The alfalfa we had delivered last week, is absolutely gorgeous - heavy, leafy, green and, you know the smell of really really good hay?  Yeah that's it!  So we're having zero waste and the horses are being pigs.  I wish I had the money and storage to safely keep a years worth - no more stemmy stuff midwinter.  It would be lovely.  Or maybe only a herd of horses that consumed 100 bales a hay a year (the max I can safely store)!  What a thought!

Sales have been a bit slow, but I haven't been doing much to change that.  Life's been busy, and when you make your priority list, some things have to drop down on that list!  It would help if I'd put ads out, but again that ol' time thing...

Lalique and Charm update
I should mention - Lalique and Charm are both doing well.  Continuing to drop weight (I wish someone could do that with me), and after the last trim, Charm is actually taking steps, not a full stride, but she's no longer on full hobble.  Lalique is still angry I'm not letting her out with the balance of the mares, but until Tomas green-lights her that she's truly past any danger (founder, etc.) she's being restricted.  So screaming at her old buddies when they go out on the hills and visit through the fence, is her options.

For those that missed the Lalique and Charm adventure.  They are two mares that I were released back to me by their owner.  Life gets in the way at times, and both had gorged into obesity on too much feed, and a lack of a good farrier had foundered with severely overgrown hooves.

I called them the hobblers the first month they were here as they couldn't really take a stride.  Tomas (my wonderful farrier), thought likely a year to rehab them, and then they'd have to be monitored on feed in take and hoof trims.  

Lalique, 14,  is doing really well, down to one really troublesome hoof, but she can bear weight on it and walk - looking forward to hopefully seeing her run one day.  Charm, coming 5-6, has issues with all four hooves, so her progress is slow, but she can walk now versus the shuffle she had when she first arrived.  They both do think they're in hell though on a straight grass diet (okay I cheat and they get a few handfuls, only handfuls!) of alfalfa sprinkled around their pen.  

Upcoming Posts
I have started a couple of posts on more of our older herd.  I'm actually enjoying going through old photos (which I have a ton of), and pulling out information on the gang.  Coming up - Lady, Tina, Maria and Houdini, then we'll start working on the younger (mid-teens) horses. 

Another post I'm working on, questions I ask first time buyers.  Yes, I tend to quiz people when they come out!  It gets me a feel for them, and the potential home they'll provide.  Plus I'd one day love to have a really good FAQ of the most often asked things.

Posionous Plants

Something we all need to be aware of - what will kill your horse!  

We tend to have an abundance in the summer of yellow star thistle (grown locally for cattle feed and the wonderful honey), which my horse's ignore except for the yellow flower.  

I hate it more for the vicious thistle's that go through everything and the tenacious ability for it to survive almost everything to eradicate it!  It sets seed after its out of the ground - argh on it!

In all the research I've done over 11 years, I've yet to get any conclusive information on how much and for how long a horse needs to eat star thistle - the whole plant? stems? flowers?  It's always good to know, although my horses do not believe in the 'list'.  We just try to keep the majority of the super-toxic ones out and away from them.

Poisonous plants link at Cornell University -

A Horses View of the World

  • Arena - A place where humans can take the fun out of forward motion.
  • Bit - A means by which a rider's every motion is transmitted to the sensitive tissues of the mouth.
  • Bucking - A counter irritant
  • Cross Ties - A gymnastic apparatus
  • Dressage - A process by which some riders can eventually be taught to respect the bit.
  • Farrier - A disposable surrogate owner, useful for acting out aggression without compromising  food supply!
  • Fence - A barrier that protects good grazing
  • Grain - The sole virtue of domestication!
  • Hitching Rail - A means by which to test one's strength
  • Horse Trailer - A mobile cave or bear den.
  • Hot Walker - The lesser of two evils
  • Jump - An opportunity for self expression
  • Latch - A type of puzzle
  • Lunging - A procedure for keeping a prospective rider at bay
  • Owner - A human assigned responsibilities for one's feeding, care and expenses
  • Ride - Owner overstepping its bounds
  • Trainer - Owner with mob connections
  • Veterinarian - Flightless albino vulture

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