Sunday, June 30, 2013

What to look for when buying quality horse hay

I bought hay for the first time in my life yesterday.  I know what your is that possible.  Well my parents have always had a farm and I've never had to get hay anywhere besides the barn.  This last year my parents sold the farm which left me to look for hay on my own.

I've never had to think about what it takes to find good quality hay.  I started looking at the feed store and realized I would need to win the lottery to buy hay from them on a on going bases.  I started looking on Craiglist and found about a million ads for "Quality Horse Hay".  What did that mean.

I had reached another point in my lack of knowledge concerning something horse related.  So what do I always do, that's right research it.  I found an article explaining everything related to picking quality hay for your horses.  The article located at is titles Horse hay: how to identify the good stuff by Neil Clarkson.

I always understood looking for mold.  Mold and horses a huge no no! But I never thought about looking for lots of leaves.  It makes perfect sense.  Indie hates it when his hay has lots of stems.  I also didn't know  hay should be baled when the moisture content is around 15 to 17 per cent and if hay sits out in the sun to long it loses it's vitamin A.  There is so much more but I'll leave that for you to discover we you read it.  Here's a link to the article:

I feel very confident with the hay I purchased.  Indie's not so sure about it.  He stuck his nose in the feeder and then looked back at me like, "What is this?" He's so spoiled.  I know he'll get use to the change and am so grateful I was able to find a farmer who has enough for the entire year so we didn't have to change hay on him again.

A little hay hauling humor!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Horse behaviors and what they mean

There have been so many times I have wished God gave me the ability to talk horse.  What I wouldn't give to just know what Indie is thinking.  Could you imagine what a team we could make with our horses if we understood them. 

I have been riding for over 25+ years and I can honestly say I learn something new every day when it comes to horses.  For example just recently I learned that when Indie pins his ears he isn't necessarily mad, he might just be listening to me.  Wish I would have known that years ago when I thought my horses was just being naughty.

After learning about the pinned ears I started doing some more research on Indie's behaviors.  I found an awesome website that gives you the inside scoop on horse behaviors  The article written by Carey A. Williams, Ph.D. covers everything from the 10 natural horse trait to body signals your horse can display and what they typically mean.  Even if your a professional in the horse world I believe there is something for everyone to learn from this article.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fly control using Sweetlix

We just moved Indie to another barn and the owners use Sweetlix to keep the flies down.  Its a block the horses eat and it really does work.  There is not a fly in the barn.  I was shocked.  Why did I not think of something like this.  Flies are awful!  My poor 4 year old son makes me cover his face as we enter the barn to keep them away from him.
I honestly didn't know a lot about the product so I did a little research for everyone.  Here's a link to everything you need to know about it.

What are your thoughts.  Do you use Sweetlix?  If so how do you feel about it?  What is the down side to using it?

Here's another link to the companies website

**I do not endorse products nor am I selling anything.**

Friday, June 14, 2013

First time in the new pasture

It's was so nice to put Indie out in the pasture today.  I put the chain on him to lead him out there because I knew he was going to be excited.  When I got him into the pasture and let him go he ran over to the other horses and said hi then found the only dirt spot and rolled.  It's was so funny.
After he rolled he headed back to the other horses to have a pow wow.  It was really cute because there is one pony in the pasture with the four big horses.  He just scooted right in the middle over everyone to see what was going on.
I was s nervous we wouldn't catch him tonight because he was in heaven, but he ran right to us.  Tomorrow he goes out again after Maddie's lesson.  We are so blessed to have him at the new barn!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

down time

When we aren't showing we're a normal family. We love hanging and enjoying time together. Today we are at Super Bounce having an awesome !

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

new arena

first ride down in the new arena . he did awesome

first ride in new barn

Wondering if it would be safe to let Maddie ride at the new barn tonight or if we should just let him turnout and check things out. Hes used to new arenas because of showing so much.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Find the right boarding facility

We moved out horse tonight to another boarding facility.  It was hard moving him.  He was in a wonderful barn where they took exceptional care of their horses, but our Indie needed to get out more often and unfortunately do to the amount of horses in the barn they were unable to turn him out daily.

When you are looking for a boarding facility what do you look for?  Our first priority is safety first for our horse and child.  We also look at the condition of the facility.  We want to make sure he barn is well kept and the horses there are taken care of.  An indoor arena is a must.  Living in Oregon the weather is unpredictable and if we had an outdoor arena only we'd only ride about 4 months out of the year.  Because I have a  young daughter the environment is very important.  I want to make sure the other boarders and the owner is respectful and there is limited drama.

I did a little research on what to look for when researching a boarding facility.  I found an article which laid everything out.  There were things I never thought of for example the type of riding done in the barn. Maddie shows Pinto and she had a hard time relating to the kids in our old barn because they were all 4-h kids and didn't understand the importance of practicing. 

For anyone looking for a facility here's the link to the article I found:

It's exciting to make changes and scary all at the same time.  I know our move is the best thing for our Indie, but its always hard leaving things behind especially the wonderful people we met and formed relationships with.

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to fill classes up at horse shows?

Since the first show I took Maddie to there has been this passion inside of me to see more youth at the shows.  Her first breed show she was the only one and this last show she was one of two.  I have also noticed that the other classes for old youth are combined a lot because there is a lack of participants.

I fear breed shows are starting to fade away and I really don’t want to see that happen.  I know there are shows out there that a very successful and would love to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of other horse show participants on how we can get these classes fill up and make breed showing successful again.

Some of the things I have thought about are: breed show clubs hosting a show at the end of the show season that will be just like a breed show but not require a card (this will help people to see what a breed show is all about), going to the 4-h clubs and presenting to them what breed showing is all about, starting a mentoring program for individuals wanting to breed show but don’t know how to get started, ect. 

What ideas do you have on how to fill these classes up?  If you're someone wanting to show but haven’t what is keeping you have jumping in there?
We show Pinto but there are many different types of breed shows out there.  Lets all become one  horse show family and help each other to have successful shows!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

research a post

Collecting some information and would love reader feedback . I've been talking to several other show people and we are brainstorming on how to fill up classes at shows. If you have any suggestions for the struggling clubs we'd love to hear them.