Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horse Watching

One of the things I enjoy doing the most is simply watching the horses. It is good for the soul to watch happy and content horses just hanging out. All weekend long it seemed everywhere you looked you could see horses grooming each other, horses napping and horses playing. These are sights that can be seen most any day, but sometimes I forget to take the time to simply watch and enjoy the sights. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me more often than I did this weekend and I missed so many wonderful photo opportunities. Below are some of the sights from the weekend. Enjoy!
We had a lot of rain last week. This is Winston splashing around in the drainage ditch where the water drains from my arena. As you can see in the video splashing was not enough, he had to lay down and roll!

A group grooming session on Sunday afternoon. Cuff Links and Harmony were grooming each other as were Maisie and Lily.

Trigger and Levendi grazing; (Elfin is the napper in the background)

Ivan and Thomas; the 3 dots behind them are Baby, Tony and Chance
Hemi hanging out
A picture of Cuff Links and Harmony grooming each other
Sebastian following Jason through the pasture
Murphy telling us what he thought of Jason's company on Friday afternoonClay and Fuzzy
Maisie and MyLight (and Bella the dog)
Toledo, Clayton, Kennedy, Johnny and Stormy
Cuff Links, Missy and MyLight hanging out under the trees
Johnny and Jason
Clayton and Toledo (and the ever present Bella the dog)
Clayton continued to watch Bella as she made her way through the pasture
B-Rad and Tiny playing
Winston and Faune

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apparently it is not just horses

Yesterday evening Jason and I were standing in the aisle of the barn talking about something. It must not have been too important as I can't remember the conversation we were having. Jo, one of the World's Cutest Fainting Goats, came sauntering in to the barn. We joke that Mina and Jo like to leave a path of destruction as they go through the barn. They get into everything, knock everything over and generally wreak havoc while having a grand time.

We watched Jo walk over to where the bulletin board hangs on the wall. Without a moment's hesitation she stood up on her hind legs, grabbed a push pin off the bulletin board, and then proceeded to start swallowing it.

Jason sprang into action faster than I would have ever thought it possible for him to move. He was across the aisle in about a 10th of a second. Another 10th of a second after that he was straddling Jo and had her mouth pried open with his hand in it. I heard a clink as the push pin dropped onto the concrete aisle. Jason grabbed the pin, then proceeded to remove all of the push pins from the board and throw them in the garbage can with the locking lid.

Jason then turned to me and said "I thought horses were the ones that got up every day looking for a way to kill themselves." Apparently we can add fainting goats to that category. I had noticed recently that the board seemed to be down a few pins . . .


Fuzzy was hyper yesterday and doing his best to get others revved up; he managed to get B-Rad and Alex to trot around a bit and Boo to run

Spike peeking over Lucky (O'Reilly in the background)


Springtime work has been underway the last week; Jason has been busy re-seeding pastures

Some of the horses have already had their first spring baths as well; this is Asterik looking quite displeased with his bath. Cuffie, fuzzy pony
Lily and Maisie napping
Murphy (more affectionately referred to as Murph!)
B-Rad and Johnny playing over the fence
MyLight passing a leisurely afternoon with a nap
Romeo and Asterik
Faune sporting what we call his "cow nose" look (from eating a hay cube mash)
Tiny, Clayton and Rampal
Toledo, Rocky, Kennedy and Stormy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Miracle Update

One of our residents had a birthday yesterday. MyLight celebrated her 20th birthday on Monday! The birthday girl had lovely weather for her celebrations, about 65 and partly sunny. She enjoyed some extra treats, including the always popular Mrs. Pastures cookies. She was hoping she could have 20, one for each year, but we said no!

Happy Birthday MyLight!

For those of you who have continued to ask about Miracle's progress we are happy to report that she is doing well! Lori at Sunkissed Acres said that every now and then Miracle needs a little bit of help getting up, but most of the time she gets up and down on her own. Apparently when she is up she is remembering that being a baby horse is supposed to be fun! She runs, bucks, leaps and spins until she wears herself out and has to go down for awhile. Then she gets up and goes right back to playing. I've seen a short video clip of her trotting and she was a surprisingly cute mover. Her gruesome chest wound continues to heal nicely and she has a wonderful appetite.

The best news about Miracle is we have been APPROVED as her new home!! When she is ready to make the move Miracle will be making her home with us. We are very excited and cannot wait to meet the little princess sometime in the not too distant future! In my excitement I've already ordered her a new leather halter from Quillin's, complete with "MIRACLE" nameplate. I look forward to the day when I get to put it on her cute little head.

Miracle napping in a comfy stall at Sunkissed Acres
What Miracle looked like just 2.5 weeks ago; hours away from death due to extreme starvation and abuse and unable to stand

Dutch and Wiz enjoying an afternoon siesta B-Rad running through the pasture
Darby was running along behind B-Rad
Cinnamon, Sky, Sparky and Norman
Apollo, Ivan and Hemi
Trigger, Homer, Leo and Apollo
Hoffy and Tony

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Comparing Feeds Based on Energy Levels (Post Written By Jason)

I did some on farm troubleshooting a little while ago for a lady who was having a lot of problems keeping weight on her horse despite feeding fair quality forage and taking excellent overall care of her horse. It was honestly a bit of a puzzler until we started looking around at the complete feed her horse was on. When I called the company to get the digestible energy number, (which is measured in either calories, kilocalories or megacalories), the puzzle was quickly solved. It turns out that the grain which the lady was feeding was providing a level of energy that was only a little higher than that found in the forage she was feeding.

Given that most people feed grain primarily to keep or add weight to their critters, knowing how many calories each pound of feed contained would be really handy, especially when one was trying to compare feeds....even those made by the same company....on an apples to apples basis. Unfortunately, companies are not required to place this information on feed tags so nobody does. It's been my experience that some companies are a lot more forthcoming with this sort of information than others are, but they will usually provide it to you if you call or email a request to them.

Sometimes, getting the numbers you need and comparing feeds based on energy levels leads to some interesting and counter intuitive results. I once had a case where Feed A and Feed B had nearly identical tag specs (which don't tell how much energy each feed might contain) but had markedly different prices. Of course, all things being equal, everyone went for the cheaper option which in this case was Feed B. However, the energy content of Feed B was so much lower than Feed A that Feed A actually worked out to be considerably cheaper to feed if one took the time to find out how much energy each feed contained. To strengthen this important point, let me highlight this with a hypothetical example.

Feed Required to Achieve 10,000 kcal from grain

Feed X - Price $ 12.00 per 50 lb bag - DE 1500 kcal/lb - 6.67 lbs - Cost - $ 1.44 per horse

Feed Y - Price $ 10.00 per 50 lb bag - DE 1000 kcal/lb - 10.0 lbs - Cost - $ 2.00 per horse

Hope folks found this helpful !


Rampal leading Clayton and Johnny across the pasture (Gus and Asterik in the pasture behind them)

Boo and Sebastian

Gus and Faune


Rocky and Toledo napping with Kennedy and Stormy standing watch

Wiz enjoyed a good roll . . .

. . . and got up looking like a pinto

Lucky and Spike

Lightening rolling with Lucky grazing

Noble and Snappy

Toledo, Rocky, Johnny and Stormy