A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘horse’

Not Made in China

everythingdogtreats-com

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that all pet owners are pretty fed up with the China Connection as it relates to dog food and treats.  When I’m looking for treats for Charlie I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the labels.  I’ve found a couple that I feel are safe to give him, but  I could probably make treats for him in the same amount of time I spend  reading labels and researching recall lists.
Here are some treat recipes you might like to try.  I’m also giving you horse treat recipes, just because I love my minis and they do get  treats sometimes as well.  They love bran muffins!

ROVER’S REWARDS
3/4 cup hot water or meat broth/stock
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
Pour the hot water/broth over the margarine and mix to melt it.  Stir in the powdered milk and egg.  Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed, to make a very stiff dough.  Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles sized for your dog.  Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 325 for 50 minutes/  Cool and let dry until hard.  Yields about 1/4 pound of treats.
PUMPKIN AND PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.     Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
3.     Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Makes about 25 treats.
HORSE TREATS
PARTY CONES
Wafer ice cream cones
Mix together:
1 shredded apple
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup horse feed (pellets or whatever you feed)
1 1/2 cups bran
Enough molasses to hold it all together.
Stuff the mixture into the cones.
Or, you can stuff it into cored apples.  These treats are sized for full size horses.  For minis, they only need about 1/4 of a treat.  They’ll tell you they want more, but don’t listen.
You can also modify the dog biscuit recipes for horses.  Experiment!

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Where Are They Now?

Photo credit Debi Plekan

Photo credit Debi Plekan

I’ve recently read an article that mentioned the American Quarter Horse Association‘s Full Circle Program.    I’m not sure how it works, but I think it’s supposed to help track previously owned horses, thus possibly preventing the throwing away of unwanted horses.  It’s a great idea and I would love to read that other breed associations are also providing this service.  One very compelling reason for me to stop breeding and selling miniature horses was that I hated losing control over their welfare.  No matter how carefully prospective buyers are screened,  stuff happens.  Every person who bought a horse from me was told that I would appreciate the right of first refusal if they ever needed to sell the horse.  I even put it into sales contracts, but it’s not enforceable.   I can remember 2 buyers who actually did let me know that they were selling their minis, and although I wasn’t in a position to buy them back, I was able to help find good homes for them.   Every horse that was sold from this farm was registered, but I can guarantee that if I look for them via the registry’s stud books, I won’t be able to find most of them.   I often wonder about the babies that were born here, and what kind of lives they’ve had.  Why don’t people keep them registered?  Isn’t it their birthright?  Don’t they deserve to  have the chain of ownership recorded?   I believe they do deserve to have their registration, papers, and heritage stay with them forever.  I can’t single handedly make that happen, so I just don’t contribute any more.

Cody, a Miniature Horse

About 10 years ago Lee and I decided that it was time to downsize our miniature horse activities.  We stopped breeding and showing them, and sold  most of our best horses.  The ones we kept were minis who had special needs.  It’s hard to imagine anyone else giving the kind of care we give to these needy ones.  Of course that’s an arrogant way of thinking and I know that really there are many people in this world who would do a good job with them.  What I ended up with was a small  group of miniature horses with health problems, so I knew that I would be dealing with lots of nursing care and special diets with supplements,and extra vet and farrier visits.  I also knew that my little herd would dwindle.  In the 10 years since we dispersed the main herd, we’ve euthanised 3 of the chronically ill minis, and now this week makes it 4.
Cody was born here.  At the age of 17 he dies here.  He had a chronic, we think genetic, condition involving his trachea.  His dam had the same problem. He also had chronic bouts of laminitis, although not since last winter.  Recently I became aware that he was having other, very serious problems.As he got worse I struggled with making the decision to euthanise him.  This week I realized we couldn’t make him better, he continued to go downhill,and I couldn’t bear to think he might be suffering.  Although we don’t know exactly what was going on with him (we didn’t do a necropsy) we do know that he had something bad.  At the end his blood pressure was sky high, his abdomen was bloated and full of fluid, he was dripping in sweat in the mornings in the last few days.  The vet guesses heart or liver, maybe both.  The last thing I did before the vet got here was to take Cody in the grass so he could graze for the first time in years.  Grass is a no-no for laminitic horses.  He loved it.  He never lost his appetite.
He was my little trick pony who answered questions with a nod or a shake of his head, and gave kisses whenever he was asked for them. He loved kids and they loved him.

Thanks so much Dr. Anne Clary for your compassionate care of my minis for all these years.
Please enjoy this slideshow of pictures of Cody, from his birth, through his show career, to his most recent pictures at the age of 17.  Cody was loved by many and he will be missed so much, especially by me.

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Farm and Family Newsletter May 2012

I started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends who are scattered all over the world.  My intention was to write about the farm and our family, keeping everyone up to date on everyone else.  We all know what can happen to good intentions.  Somehow I’ve become scattered and eclectic, writing about whatever pops into my head, and throwing in a bunch of recipes to boot.  I don’t think that’s going to change because my thoughts and my focus tend to bounce around.  I do think that I should make some kind of commitment to the original premise so I’m going to try to write a monthly newsletter that will stick to actual family and farm news.  Good luck with that, right?

So here we go!

Lambing this year was busy!  We had 18 pregnant ewes and all but one of them has delivered.  There were several sets of triplets and we have 32 lambs.  The lone hold out ewe will probably have a single lamb any day now.

There are 2 lambs being supplemented by bottle, and they’re doing well.  They will stay with their moms and just get a bit of extra help from us.

All of the ewes did well, but we did lose 2 lambs.  One was stillborn (a triplet) and one was deformed and dead in the womb as well.

It’s no secret that the weather has been crazy and unpredictable this year.  We had hot weather in March and then in April it cooled back down.  Now in May we’re getting a lot of rain.   Lee was able to get his wheat fertilized early and he did some digging, but it’s now too wet to do any more.  Some farmers in our area planted corn in April.  That’s very unusual.  The strange weather has caused serious problems for agriculture here.  Specifically, the fruit trees blossomed and then the blossoms froze so apples and cherries in particular will be scarce.  Maple sap ran so early that the taps weren’t in place yet and so there won’t be much maple syrup made in Wisconsin.

My horse pasture greened up very early and I was able to get Star, Irish, and Artie out on the grass in March.  Unfortunately, even though I was careful to let them graze for short periods, Irish has foundered and his grazing days are now over.  He’s doing well now.  He was sore footed for  a few days but is feeling much better now.  Cody never gets to eat grass because he has chronic laminitis (founder) and will get sore on the tiniest bit of grass.  I’m down to 2 horses that can graze the pastures for a few hours each day.  I see lots of mowing in our future.

The early spring brought many of the migratory birds back early.  Specifically the killdeers and barn swallows and robins were here in April.  Sandhill cranes were back a bit early too.  Just in the last few days we’ve been seeing orioles, and Lee thinks there was a hummingbird buzzing around him when he was installing our new bird feeder (made by cousin Ron, and it’s a very nice feeder!).  I haven’t seen a hummer yet.  I’ve been keeping the nectar feeders filled for both the hummers and the orioles.

Lee and our brother-in-law Mick put a new roof on our house a couple of weeks ago.  We’re so happy to have it done, and I’m especially happy to have the hammering on  the roof finished.  Project #2 is the remodeling of our guest bathroom.  It has been gutted and Lee installed a new shower.  No more tub in that bathroom.  The shower takes up the same space that the tub did, so it’s nice sized.  Everything in the room will be replaced so it will look completely different.  It’s been a challenge because it’s a tiny bathroom.

Another remodeling/repair project will be new steel siding on the barn.  It’s on the contractor’s to-do list but it may be a while until he gets at it.  Lee and I had a discussion about color and he was leaning toward  grey, while I think that  a proper barn should be red.  Red it is.

In family related news….Aubrey, Josh, and Carys, and Josh’s mom Sally, are in Hawaii on vacation.  They’re having a wonderful time and posting pictures to Facebook  daily.  It’s fun to see what they’re doing there, and I have to say they all seem so very  happy!

 

 

 

Shirley and I will be leaving on Mother’s Day for Las Vegas.  What a great Mom’s Day present!  We’ll be there for 5 nights, staying at the Monte Carlo again.  It’s become our favorite hotel in LV, mostly due to its location and ease of getting around.

We’re looking forward to seeing Alora soon.  She’s going to be coming back to the US from Scotland and we’ve missed her and can’t wait to see her.

That’s all for this May update.  Wish me luck in Vegas!

 

Shamrock’s Story

Shamrock, young and strong.

Shamrock came to live on our farm in 1993, when she was 5 years old.  At her side was her 4 month old son, Irish.  He still lives here, and he looks just like his dam.

When Shammy first came here she was stand-offish with the other horses.  Not timid or afraid.  She preferred to be left alone.  She was more open to relationships with humans and enjoyed any time she spent with people.  If I went into the paddock with a grooming brush in my hand Shamrock was the first in line waiting to be brushed.  She would ignore food if she thought there was a chance a human was going to love on her.  She was incredibly tolerant of kids.  Little girls love to play “My Pretty Pony” and will brush, braid, and comb the hair right off a horse if given the time and opportunity.  Shamrock was our go-to-gal when it was time to play beauty shop.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Alora had been playing with and grooming Rosie, who was Shamrock’s last foal. Note the stylish, curly forelock. Shamrock was nuzzling Alora, maybe begging for some attention, but it looks to me like she’s whispering in Alora’s ear.

Shammy was always dependable around children and she loved them.

Another favorite picture is the one of Shamrock wearing a birthday hat.  It was my birthday, and when I went out for morning chores, my horses were all wearing birthday hats!  A birthday surprise from Lee 🙂

Happy Birthday!

Several years ago Shamrock foundered, had her first attack of laminitis.  Over the following years she did pretty well, with an occasional bout but they were always fairly minor and easy to resolve.  We kept her on a strict diet and she seemed to be coping.  Last February she had a severe attack and we just couldn’t get her over it.  We tried everything, and then some, but nothing helped her. Toward the end she was down a lot and I knew it was time to put her out of her misery.  On September 7th the vet came and helped her to leave this earth.  Lee and I and our very compassionate vet were with her as she passed.  I know that she will rest in peace.

I have a couple more pictures that I want to share, of a beautiful little mare.

Shamrock March 17, 1988-September 7, 2010.

Beautiful Shamrock age 15

Shamrock age 22

You’ll Know When it’s Time

I called the vet’s office today, to make an appointment to have Shamrock euthanized.  This little mare is 22 years old, and has been struggling with hoof pain since the middle of last winter.  I’ve done everything I know how to do.  Tried every suggestion from vet, farrier, and fellow horse owners.  Nothing has helped her and I see signs now of her giving up.  She’s been so willing to do whatever I’ve asked of her, and she has put up with all  of the treatments, meds, and supplements I’ve bombarded her with.  Now she’s telling me she’s had it.  She’s not eating or drinking with gusto.  She’s lying down most of the time.  She has no interest in leaving her stall to go outside.  I’m waiting for the vet to call me back with a day and time.  This decision has been brutal for me, but I need to face it with courage. I think it’s the right time for Shammy.  Am I sure?  No.

Good Bye July…..

…..and a big hello to August, soon to arrive.

I’d like to say I hate to complain, but that would be a lie.  I love to complain.  So does Lee.  Lately we’ve been complaining about the weather, and more specifically, how the weather has impacted our lives this summer.  It’s been a crazy roller coaster ride, trying to make good crops, and trying to care for livestock.  We’ve had too much rain, too much heat, too much humidity, resulting in too much insect activity and too little time in the fields.

We’ve learned that there are numerous species of mosquitoes, and they’re all residing in the grass here.  It doesn’t matter what time of day we’re outside, there are mosquitoes biting.  The animals are suffering.  The hogs have super thick hide to protect them, and the sheep have thick wool except on their poor little faces and legs.  The horses are not so lucky and are covered with skeeters all day long.  Sprays aren’t working so I have to limit their time outside.  We have vaccinated them against West Nile virus.  Too bad there’s no vaccine for us!  The barn cats are all content to laze inside the barn 24 hours a day.

It rains and rains.  The weather man tells us this has been a record-setting summer for precipitation.  We knew that.

Farming has become more of a guessing game lately.  If Lee cuts a field of hay, will it get rained on?  Of course it will.

Is it any wonder that we look forward to a new page on the calendar?  August has to be better.  Right?

We’re highly anticipating a trip to Kentucky later in August.  We’ll be visiting family there, and we look forward to the change of scenery, the few days away from the farm, and the company of  folks we enjoy.

We’re fortunate to see an abundance of wildlife here.  We’ve been seeing deer every day, and the bucks are in velvet right now.  Recently I witnessed a turf war between 3 deer and a flock of wild turkeys.  They kept trying to chase each other away, and the deer eventually won.

Lately we’ve had Great Egrets swimming in the overflowing ditch, and they’ve been landing in a field across the road.  I got some pictures, but without a good zoom, the pictures aren’t the best.  We have a bumper crop of frogs, so I think that’s why they’re here.

Every year we have a turkey vulture family nesting in a rotten stump just on the edge of the horse pasture.  In the morning they sit in a tree or on a post and dry their wings.

The slide show is at the end of this post, and of course I had to include pictures of little Payten, who is gorgeous.  She was 4 months old on the 20th.

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