Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ed Dabney - Stall vs Pasture Board

Ed Dabney - Stall vs Pasture Board :

I strongly feel horses are happier and healthier mentally, physically and emotionally if they are allowed to live the way God designed them - out in the open, not in a box. Horses are not like us. They don't like small cozy places. As prey animals, they like to be out in the open so they can move and see all around.

Horses who live out in a pasture 24/7 are usually healthier than stall boarded horses who live in a hot, musty barn full of urine and manure odors. Walk into most full boarding barns at 6:00 in the morning when the barn has been closed up all night and the ammonia smell from the night's urine will knock you down. I feel sorry for the horses having to stand in there and breathe that all night. No wonder they develop respiratory problems.

I understand that not everyone has the option of pasture or paddock boarding and must board their horse in a stall with little or no turn-out. I also understand that stall boarding is sometimes necessary for some stallions, horses recuperating from certain injuries or for upper level show or performance horses that need the protection of a stall to prevent injury or coat fading.

In Wyoming my horses lived in the pasture and had a run in shed available to them but they never used it. They were happy to stand out in 15 below zero weather in a blizzard munching hay. They would grow a heavy winter coat and snow would pile up on their backs. As long as they had plenty of good quality hay their body would generate enough heat to keep them comfortable. (Note: if they were losing body heat the snow on their backs would melt.)

Observing my own horses in Wyoming indicates to me they obviously prefer to live outdoors. Certainly we prefer to be indoors on a cold or rainy day cuddled up by the fire in a warm blanket drinking a cup of hot chocolate, however my opinion is, we should allow horses to live in the way they prefer rather than try to force our human characteristics on them. Let them be horses and live outdoors!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Raising Country Kids: Bovine Racism

Raising Country Kids: Bovine Racism

Here is an interesting bit on a blog about cows unfairly ostracizing the odd-colored cows in the herd.

Farm Dog Disease on the Rise - Hobby Farms

Farm Dog Disease on the Rise - Hobby Farms

This is an important article for those with rural dogs, regarding the rise of Leptospirosis cases. Dogs contract the disease when they come into contact with the urine of wild animals. (This is easier than you might imagine, considering the urine can be in creeks or streams, or on the grass that dogs might lick or eat.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rejoneo Bullfighting on Horseback

Rejoneo Bullfighting on Horseback

I love this photo because of the horse's expression as he's trying to bite the bull.  These horses have to be aggressive.

This is a pretty neat website that goes into the history of "Rejoneo", or bullfighting horses.  A bit down the page the author mentions that reining, dressage, and what we would call cutting horse training were all intertwined in the training of these horses.

Amazing Horse video

This is pretty incredible... the bull fighting horses are so responsive and agile. This is one of the reasons I fell in love with Andalusians when I was in spain. The training is called "Doma Vaquera" in Spanish.

The Hay Fairy Came!

My hay guy texted me yesterday, and he said he'd be bringing me a load of hay late last night.  When I got home, I wasn't sure if he'd been by or not, so I went to look in the barn, and happily saw it stuffed full of hay.

I always get a feeling a little like Christmas morning when I see that.  That's one of the things I love about my hay guy... I just leave the key in the tractor, and he will unload it all (round bales) and stack it in the barn for me.  Not even have to be present is SOOO much more convenient than trying to work around both our schedules.  And it's so nice to leave for work with an empty barn, and come back to find it full of new hay... it's like magic.  Thanks, Hay Fairy!

I Slaughtered a Chicken for the First Time (With a Little Lot of Help from My Friends)

(This is from a blog I follow... click on the title to go there)

I Slaughtered a Chicken for the First Time (With a Little Lot of Help from My Friends): "

WARNING: This post contains material that may not be suitable for some readers.

I really like to eat chicken. Becky likes it too. However, we’ve gone almost completely off industrially produced chicken. The cost of organic chicken is about twice as expensive as the regular variety here, and those aren’t inexpensive.

Since we’re going to be eating our chickens, I needed to learn how to kill, pluck and dress them. Becky has a friend who’s husband also needed to learn these skills. This friend of Becky’s has a mum and dad who have been raising and eating their own chickens for decades. So, on an absolutely fine Saturday, we all converged on a nearby farmlet for a delicious lunch… and a hands on lesson in the skill of slaughtering chickens.

From the reading I’ve done, I knew that there were a lot of ways to kill a chicken. This time, we would be breaking the chickens’ necks (See: How to Kill a Chicken, or How to kill, pluck and dress a chicken).

The small children were removed from the area and Garth and I were each handed an Orpington rooster. The method of how to break the neck was explained. I was up to go first. As I stood there, preparing to kill the chicken with my bare hands, I wondered: How is it that, at the age of 38, and having consumed some unthinkable number of chickens in my life, this will be the first time that I’ve personally killed a chicken? The answers to that question are far more disturbing than the act of killing the chicken.

(To read more, go to the blog)

Bullet proof???

From Horsetopia Forums:
Bullet proof???: "
Found this today in a local paper. . . too funny!

" Wanted good trail horse and show, nothing under 8 years old, good with kids and BULLETPROOF"
Guess they must ride in some pretty rough neighborhoods!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"I dont suggest anyone own a horse"

"I dont suggest anyone own a horse": "
From Horsetopia: 
"I do not own a horse however I have been working with / riding them my whole life.Last night I was at my riding lesson and my trainer and I got on the subject of me owning my first horse. He said " I do not suggest that anyone own a horse." He said I should lease first. I disagree however he did have some good points. "What are you doing with your horse when you go to College? Will you wake up christmas morning to take care of it?"

It has been a dream of mine to own a horse so I really dont mind getting up on Holidays to take care of it.

Do you agree with him, lease first? :confused:"

This is a very good point. Many people who start leasing with me quickly discover that they don't have the time to spend after all. Frequently they rode when they were younger and would love to get back into it. However, when you consider the time it takes to go get the horse, groom the horse, tack up, ride, cool down, untack, groom, and put the horse away, it can be rather involved.
Not only that, but if anything at all happens, such as a financial hardship, job loss, chronic illness, so on and so forth, you are now stuck. A horse costs money every day you own it, whether you are riding or not. You still have to pay board, or buy feed and hay. Which is why many people wind up having to give their horses away when disaster strikes. Which can be very sad, because many of those horses that have to find new homes quickly are taken to auction, and many wind up slaughtered for meat. (Very inhumanely, I might add, as it's no longer legal in the U.S., so many horses are shipped to Mexico, where there are no standards of humane slaughter).
I fully agree, leasing first is the way to go... if you have the time, dedication, and finances, then you can think about buying a horse!