Monthly Archives: December 2016

Look Out It’s All Down Hill From Here

I guess I say this every year, but where did this year go????

I hear my mother in my brain telling me “As you get older the time goes faster.”  Okay I get it, now make it stop.

There are days that I have so much to do I feel like I’m on a Carousel spinning out of control.  The other day I just sat in my pasture, with the horses, and became still and grounded once again.  It’s kind of like when you go to the amusement park and you get off a ride that is spinning faster and faster and you have to get off and sit for a while before moving on.  You’ve got to wait for your inner ear and brain to settle down.  That’s one thing I love about spending time with my horses, they can bring you back to reality. Sitting there and just watching them eat.  It’s so simple.  Why hasn’t the medical field tapped into this.  No, they just prescribe another pill.

Peace, contentment, grounding.  That’s what horses bring to our lives.  We’re onto something here and we don’t even realize it.

I know they are using dogs a lot in various therapy venues.  They are finally catching on to what we’ve known all along.  Animals are healers and teachers.

Wake up world!  It doesn’t come in a bottle or by laying on a couch telling someone who just sits and nods as you pay them way too much money.  It comes with four legs and a tail.

I’m not going to go into the whole New Years Resolution thing.  We all know what we need to do, but don’t.  We all know what we would like to do, but never get around to. So all I’ll say is have a safe Happy New Year and we’ll try again starting right after that.

Oh a word of caution.  Don’t bring your horse in the house for the party, it’s not their bag.

Merry Christmas!

Okay, I forgot it was Wednesday and didn’t post this first thing in the morning.  Just so much going on and time is running out.

Well in a couple of days it will be Christmas.  Hopefully all the shopping is done and the presents are wrapped.  Now you can sit back relax and enjoy the “Reason for the Season.”  The Nativity, The Christ child.  The lights, the music, the memories.  The new memories that are being made as we speak, parties, and the gift of love.

Most of the country has been blanketed by snow and has been in a deep freeze.  A “White Christmas” has always been dreamed of, but this is pushing the envelope a little too much.

As we have been having 80 degree days and 60’s at night I really find it hard to relate, but last night I was remembering as I walked in from the barn.  I was remembering the 20 degree or below nights when I would have my horses double blanketed (they were shaved) locked in the barn with plenty of hay and bedding.  The stillness in the barn as the wind outside would be howling.  But mostly I remember them contentedly munching hay.  It is the most soothing, peaceful sound in the world.  As cold as it was, I would stand there and just listen and absorb the peaceful beauty around me.  Knowing that my babies were tucked in for the night and safe.  What was sad was that so many weren’t.

Please keep an eye out for horses that are starving and have no water available.  Don’t hesitate to call and report anything you see.  It will be checked out and the animals will be helped, not necessarily taken away.  Sometimes people just get themselves in a bad situation.  They believe that things will turn around soon, but in the mean time the horses starve.  There is help out there, but they need to know about the problem.

Remember, the first Christmas started in a stable, filled with hay in a manger, and animals.  Not much in our lives has changed.

Let us bring the gift of love and caring to both people and animals this Christmas and in return you may be blessed by others. That is my Christmas Wish for you.

Merry Christmas from me to all of you.

It’s Almost Christmas!

So much comes flooding back.  The horses of the past.  The good times with friends and family.  So sad to think how many have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Both people and animals.

I remember when I was little, yes I can remember that far back.  I never wanted dolls, all I wanted was horses.  They have such wonderful stuff for children now.  Riding outfits for dolls.  Tack and trailers for toy horses. Clothes with horses on them.  Even bed spreads with horses.  A little girls dream.

And so much stuff for adults and their horses.  Colorful apparel and tack. Catalogs just filled with toys for your horse.  We are defiantly a consumer based society.

My horses, got back then and still get today, carrots and apples in their stockings.  Gone are the days when they got new saddle pads and sheets. Or maybe even a new Bridle. Some horses have a better wardrobe than I do.  I like when my boarders come in with blankets, sheets, and fly masks. What I would really like is to have them come in with break-away halters. They come in with these knotted nylon training bikinis or colorful nylon halters. I’ve known two horses that have gotten them caught and snapped their necks.  Horses get into trouble, no doubt about it.  When I need to possibly gather in the herd for a storm I will leave a break away halter on. Halters are only left on when there is a purpose.  But the time that it takes to catch and halter a horse could be the time best used for gathering in the next group.  I will not leave a horse lose in the pasture with a nylon halter.  If the owner wants to use it when they are around, that’s fine, as long as the horse is supervised.  They have their time and place in training, but not in a pasture.

When I was young the catalogs were called “Wish Books.”  We’d all sit there and wish we could have all this neat stuff.  Now it’s just expected, and received.  Kids are missing so much.  Nothing is appreciated anymore.  Back in the ice age, if you got what you had wished for, you were grateful and took good care of what you received.  Mostly because you knew it was your one and only shot at getting this great item.  Now a days, if it breaks, you just go and buy another one.  When I was a kid, the barn that I grew up at gave all the kids that worked there, a lead line with their name on it and a pair of the warmest gloves I’ve ever had.  Boy, do I miss those days.

I had one horse, which I paid for myself.  Worked two jobs and took great care of that horse, and was extremely careful to keep her healthy and sound.  In these times, if the horse breaks down, they dispose of it and get another.  This with no concern of the life this horse is going to have after its moved on.

Okay, I’m on my soap box.  Time to wrap that box up with pretty paper and a bow and move on.  What’s my point?  I have no idea.

Perhaps it’s the sadness of change.  Perhaps it’s the sadness of loss.  Perhaps it’s the sadness of thoughtless, uncaring people.  But it’s almost Christmas and people do soften and love more openly.

What’s funny is that horses don’t care if they get a new saddle pad or blanket, along with a color coordinated halter and lead.  They can trash the new one too.  They don’t care what colors they wear.  But what they do care about is our love, care, and the time we spend with them.  They lead a simpler life of what is really important.  Perhaps we should take our cues from them.  They seem to accept whatever circumstance they find themselves in.  If they get a treat, Great!  If not they move on.  Maybe next time.

Give to your animals this Christmas what is really important.  Your time and you love. Ultimately nothing else really matters.  Well maybe to you, but not your horse  As long as the food keeps coming, they’re good.

Hum, time and love, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give that to the people we love too.

So Just Who’s In Charge?

Had a very interesting conversation with one of my new boarders, as to who was in charge.  My theory is “My Barn, My Rules”.  Seems quite simple.  It was about grain. Really?!!!!

I find it extremely disturbing when a horse will not eat, especially when a horse is very underweight.  The owner was away, just for a long Thanksgiving weekend.  First time she was away in a long time.  She needed her time off.  She’d been taking care of this horse on her own for a while.  This mare has many issues to deal with.  Ninety days off of Colic surgery, Cushings, and Insulin Resistant.  Horse stopped eating.  Had a long talk with the surgeon and we both agreed to change the Senior Feed to an insulin resistant horse feed.  We backed off all the supplements she was getting, and we were going to start from scratch.  This is something we both agreed upon.

I didn’t want to call the owner and tell her, since she’d be home in three days.  It could wait.  Well according to the owner I should have called her immediately and discussed it with her before making any changes.  Okay, if she were home I would have, but I didn’t want to wait.  I wanted to get on this as soon as possible, and start getting food into this horse.  I explained to her that I usually will go with what a vet had to say as opposed to the owner.  I told her that she needed to trust me or move to a place where she would have total control.

Now with my other boarders, if you asked any one of them what type of feed their horses are on, and how much of it they are getting, they’d look at you like you had four heads.  They have no idea and leave it totally up to me.  After all, that’s what they pay me for.  Their horses are all fat and happy, and in turn the owners are happy.

As I was explaining this to the young lady she told me that she’s never had a barn owner who cared about what her horse ate or didn’t eat.  And I told her I’d never had a horse owner who cared or even thought about the reason their horses were fed what they are fed.  I then proceeded to tell her that I am ultimately responsible for the well-being of her horse.  I do research and talk to vets to make sure I am on the right track.  She said that it was not explained to her when she moved in, that I would be in charge of what her horse was given to eat.  Funny I never thought I had to.  I do tell them what I feed in the way of hay and grain, and she was no exception.  She told me about this horses special needs and I agreed to give her what the vet had prescribed.  Well at least the grain he prescribed.  The supplements were her choices.  That is until the horse stopped eating.

This caused me to rethink a lot of things.  Things that I never had any thought about.  All I know is that if I have a horse that is sick or not eating, I worry, I lose sleep until I solve the problem.  Whether it’s one of mine or a boarder, I take my responsibility very serious. Then I was thinking about what she had said about other barn owners.  I really started to think about how they would have handled this situation.  My close friends, I know, would have handled it the same way I did.  Others, I have no idea.

Bottom line is that this is my barn, not others.  The horses in my barn will be taken care of the way I determine they need to be taken care of.  If the owner has a problem with that then they need to move some place where they feel comfortable.  I feel very strongly about my beliefs based on too many years of experience, research, and veterinarian consultation.  I do accept input from owners, but my decision, after speaking to a vet, is the final say.  I will not tolerate abuse, or watch a horse die slowly.

If any of you board your horses, do you know what and how much is being fed?  Do you know why?  Do you trust your barn owner to make the right decisions?  Does anybody else do research and consult with vets?  Does anyone really care, or do you just assume, because your horse looks and feels great, that life is good?

Just something to ponder.