A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘miniature horse’

April 2013 Newsletter

Cravings-Buffet-at-the-Mirage

Shirley and I made our annual trek to Las Vegas.  Fun and relaxation were had by all.  Our only disappointment was that the Donny and Marie show was cancelled and we had been looking forward to it.  We did go to Blue Man Group and that was a fun and very loud show.  We had good seats, and we enjoyed the show.  Weather was a bit chilly on the first couple of days but it made for very comfortable walking.  We had some excellent meals, including the Cravings buffet at the Mirage.  We visited the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.  It’s an aquarium.  We got free tickets through the MLife Players Club rewards game , My Vegas.
I have an album of photos from our trip on Facebook.  Here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200307594110975.1073741826.1187642981&type=1&l=44bed9c791
Weather has been the topic of conversation all month.  Wet and cold!  I don’t know when the fields will be dried out enough to begin spring field work.
lamb smudgeLambing began mid month, and there are still 2 ewes left to lamb.Again this year there are triplets and twins.  We had one poor ewe who had toxemia and lost her twins, but Lee was able to save the ewe.  It seems like lambing season is never trouble free.  I’m not sure how many lambs there are, but I’m guessing 22.  Mostly boys!  The little guy in the picture was born with the huge black spot on his hip.  It will fade with time.

 
Collin is back on American soil, back from Afghanistan.  It’s a huge relief.  We’ll see him in July, along with the rest of the family, when we go to OKC for a wedding.

 
Star 4-13The horses are shedding!   They’re itchy and need to be bathed and brushed, but it’s too cold.

I’m enjoying the return of the migratory birds.  I’ll bet the birds aren’t all that happy to be back.  Kildeer are nesting on the cold ground.  Robins are finding worms now but I wonder what they ate while the ground was still frozen.  The barn swallows are here, but we don’t have any bugs yet!

Advertisements

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!

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

September 2012 Newsletter

Another season rolls in.  Here in Wisconsin the leaves are turning, the air is sometimes crisp, sometimes warm.  On the warm days the yellow jackets, hornets, and box elder bugs come alive and they’re everywhere.  We’ve already had a killing frost, so our growing season is over.  Lee is out on the combine harvesting soybeans.  Grain prices are up because of the poor crops in much of the country and world.  Hog and lamb prices have gone down.  I just heard today that there is going to be a pork shortage worldwide.  We’ll see.

Collin left for his deployment and called last week to say that he’s settled in.  My goal is to send him a box from home every month.  His birthday is in October, so that box will celebrate his birthday, with a little Halloween/Autumn thrown in.
Some of the other grands have relocated.  A couple have transplanted to new cities, and one to a new apartment.  It seems there’s fallout, a domino effect when families go through traumatic times.

For me, I’m learning that I need to live my own life and not worry so much about the others.  I can only do so much, and the older I get, the more draining it becomes.

We’ve had some very windy days lately and on one of those days a large tree limb came down in Cody’s pen.  I didn’t think he had been hit by the branch at first but later I realized that he did get either hit or grazed on his head.  His left eye was very swollen and the eyeball was hemorrhaged.  Fortunately the swelling went down and I could see that the blood in his eye was reabsorbing.  By the 4th day he was nearly as good as new.  Poor guy.

The kittens continue to grow.  The little female calico went to her new home and is doing very well.  They named her Luna.  I still have the 3 males.  I’ve been advertising them on Freecycle, but the only takers were no-shows.  They’re so entertaining and I waste so much time just watching them play.  I love baby animals 🙂

 

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!

 

How Cold is It? and More…

*It’s SO cold that  if you wear glasses, they will freeze your face wherever they touch skin, causing serious pain.
*It’s SO cold that the layers of clothes we wear make it nearly impossible to move, and forget about hurrying.  Thank goodness for cell phones, because I truly did fall backwards into a deep drift and due to the deep snow and my cold weather attire I was stuck.  Called Lee, who came to my rescue and hauled my butt out of the drift.
It’s SO cold that the balls of horse poo freeze hard as rocks.  The disadvantage is that it’s like stepping on rocks, and ankles will twist.  The frozen balls also get stuck between the tines of the stable fork and have to be removed by hand.  This slows the process of stall cleaning considerably.  The advantage is that the cats get some rousing games of horse poo hockey going and if you can stand being out in the cold long enough to watch, it’s very entertaining.
It’s SO cold that, after being outside for a while, a hot shower is a good idea, but  the hot water turns cold as it runs down your body!
I could go on, but you get the idea.

In other news, Nikki, Ken, Alora, Cameron, and Connor have arrived safely in Scotland, where they have relocated from Wisconsin.  In this picture, they were in Copenhagen during a layover and a plane change.

 

 

And here they are in a train station (I think).  They spent a couple of days doing touristy things in and around London.  They’re now in Scotland and we’re waiting for them to get internet and phone service hooked up so we can communicate.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: