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Friday, August 30, 2013

One of the biggest things is footing of a stall.

I don't care if one chooses SAND, Stall pads, or Clay they ALL have up keep and will need to be put on a regular schedule for checking, securing, and replacing parts, components, or what ever.

First things first.
When choosing a place for a barn and your stalls do it right.
Make sure the barn or stalls are on a HIGHER ground that everything around it.
Even if floods are not an issue in your area there is ALWAYS a need for run off when a horse is being stalled for a long period of time.

SO make sure the building is on higher ground ...
AND next make sure you have plenty of drainage... you can not have too much drainage!
I have FOUR French drains in each of my two stalls.  TWO go out the back and TWO go out the sides of the stall.

What ever your choice of filler start with French drain pipes fill UP and OVER with nice size rocks and THEN place your choices of barrier cover!

A barrier cover is necessary to allow and protect your French drains.  If sand or clay fill your drains over time they no longer work so a good barrier is NECESSARY.

I did not use a barrier ONLY because I used pads. BUT even using pads a second layer of smaller rock is necessary THEN a good pounding of all materials, then I had laid one by two's and had pee gravel  in between them, then my perfectly places mats on top of all that. 
SO I have lots of drainage AND I simply keep my stalls DRY  until they are needed for emergency care only.

Because a horse with PPSM / EPSM is just as easy to tie up being in a stall.  A horse with PPSM/ EPSM needs to be able to move around as much as possible for its health.  THUS my stalls are for emergencies only.  I do however allow one of the stalls open at all times so my horses can go in and out at any point of the day.

My stalls are an unusual size they are only 11 1/2 by 11 1/2  not the typical 12 x12 or 15 x15. 
WHY because I was watching EVERY penny when I built my barn and making my stalls this size allowed for over hang of my roof with out spending extra money for the roofing etc...   Besides my horses are small for horses.  I am done with warm bloods and will not be getting a trochanter or Swedish warm blood any time in my future! ha ha ha...

As for SAND base.
The Barrier is VERY VERY important. 
And the sand must be replaced or re-seated every six months.

As far as CLAY this is the LEAST drainage of the three here discussed. It will pack down in time and if the barrier is not perfect it will pass through and clog all the drainage underneath creating an ammonia issue / health hazard for your horse.

Clay pools pea more than sand
packs harder than sand
BUT is the cheapest of all materials suggested in the south.

This is just the very base of the stall designs... so more to be discussed tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Yep one more day off!
And while I should have been enjoying the day, I have been so tired... in such muscle pain (which in a way is good) but I can't move.  I took care of my kids and other larger more demanding horses than my own.

In doing so I have realized I am very happy with my choices of how I manage Navarre and his PPSM/EPSM and how he is much better off than some other animals with the same issues.

I will (due to the experience) go over once again how I manage a horse in a stall. 
I find myself doing much more and in someway less than I would if they were all my horses.

I hope to define an outline (no one is perfect) of stall care.
Stall care includes
FLY control
and composting.

All of these should keep us talking and typing for a while.

As far as tonight.... I'm so tired I can't keep doing this!
My love to the world.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

OH a rare day off from working in the clothing shop (yes I get at least two days off a week BUT) the rarity is the fact it has not rained in a few days; thus allowing me to REALLY get some things around the barn done.

While it is still August
The morning temperature was only 55 this morning.
Fog/ dew point was suppose to be 53 degrees it was as wet as it could be, fog so thick I couldn't see anything in front of me walking to the barn of horses in my care at the moment.  And they have fog lights on all night to keep bears etc from the barn.

With my leg, I have barely been out of the brace for a week, and I had to stop from pain and stretch several times only 1/2 way through the second stall.
Stalls that shavings are so nicely kept so deep they are impossible to walk in.
Thus also making it a long process of finding all the hidden treasures.

My body rebels from all the work I have made it do today.
three hundred pounds of feed, hay stretchers, emergency supplies, and cleaning moldy hay out of my own barn.
Moving several bad bails of hay, making them a protecting device for trees I planted this year or last so if it does get to a be bad winter they will have a better chance of survival.  I can't physically carry the bails of hay to the garden area, I didn't want to have to touch them two more times just to use the truck and I couldn't get any dependable help for the day so... a little at a time but I've been non-stop sense 5am and I'm worn out.
I have to skip and clean stalls again at 6 them do my horses after them!  So my day is no where near being over, but... I'm just out of the shower and laying in bed typing this out.

I will get up at 10 till 6 take a Advil or better! and start over!

Yes I still have things in my truck that I have to put in my trailer for my emergency kit.  and some things I have to bring into the house for later etc...

Such a perfect day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life in the rain has been strange this year.

I have stopped on 5 lane highways, two lane back roads to get turtles out of the road.  I took them all to our property and set them free.

Three of them to date! 

Yesterday it was a baby dove that could not fly.  It sat in the road as I drove over it, tumbled like a plastic bag behind my car and I stopped.  I brought it home because it was so cold and wet with heavy dew. I took it back after the cold burned off!  (cold because it has pin feathers, not fluff, or full feathers) It could not fly away.    I poured bird seed around it to attract older, more doves to care for it.  It was still there at 1 pm when I took Navarre out for a short ride.  It was still there when I got back.  It appeared to be gone at 6pm when I went back for the nightly feedings.  Till I was driving off and saw it in the road again.  In the road because it is dark and was warmer than the grass.  Once again I picked it up, and brought it in for the night.

A low 60, heavy dew, so we kept it warm for the night.  It drank all its water, and even ate some bird feed last night.  Body functions seem to be perfect, so it goes back out to the barn again today.  I leave for work in a bit and I shall check on it after 6pm for the nightly feed.

I can only hope by the end of today it can fly, and fly well!

I hated to leave it 1. in the road.  2. perfect food for the hawks and larger birds in the area with no way to fend for itself.  Yes I know I should allow nature to take its course BUT basic shelter is one of those things we all want, need, and should never expect to have.

May your day be better than this struggling little dove.
My love to the world

Monday, August 26, 2013

57 degrees ...
Last week of August!

Crazy summer! if you can call it that.

The one good thing is we may actually get a few days in a row of NO RAIN!!!!! this in itself is very exciting.

5 am is was lower than 57 at the house.
Fog was so thick I was late for my 6am appointment.
But got the three horses done and then got mine taken care of...

Life is what it is suppose to be.
No time for the birds today!
I'll have to make it up to them tomorrow when I'm off.

My love to the world.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One more thing on my list of necessities that is no longer available.
A Salt supplement that is a 70%

Besides Navarre having a very limited ability to free range on grass; he doesn't drink enough water and dehydrates all too fast and especially while I am working out of the house and can't be at the barn ALL the time. 

HOW do I know he doesn't drink enough?
1. He gets dehydrated all too easy, BUT ...
2. I look and search for their poop every morning and night to see if it is wet/moist enough and not showing signs of diarrhea (too much oil; or sickly) or that it is too hard, not breaking apart (could be several issues ; (foremost is not drinking enough water)

So I have had to supplement their salt blocks with electrolytes in their feed.

How do I get the electrolytes in their feed?
Strangely enough I got asked just this week about how I get my horse to drink water.

So many put the electrolytes in the water; and for a horse that will drink water this is great (ALMOST)  BUT you have to make sure a horse also has clean, clear, fresh water where there are no electrolytes.  Otherwise it's like you drinking too much salt water, being thirsty but dehydrating from the imbalance of salt.

People rarely look into the water issue with a new horse.
This was someone whom had saved/ rescued a horse but couldn't get it to drink water.

This is VERY COMMON!!!!! 
Horses are as picky about their water as some humans are.  What do I mean?

Well this is what I do....
When I went to FL to pick up Navarre as a baby, I took 4 individual gallon (milk jugs) containers and filled them with the water at the "hospital" where he was born.
WHY?  Because horses have a better smell than we do, thus they are as picky if not more about their water etc...

I filled all the water buckets in my trailer with his known water source.
As I drove from FL to NC I had to get water BUT I added his FL water into the water as he sniffed and watched me fill it the rest of the way.

I also kept enough to add to his water at his new barn until he got used to the water he was eventually going to drink

There are TEA mixes that cover water smell and taste, and they work well
BUT to make these work as intended,  you have to use them where the horse is BEFORE you move it etc... so they think it is the water they have always had ... If this doesn't go well in their known water, it's only going to make the water worse where ever you take them.

YES I keep several salt blocks ( white, AND Himalayan Pink, AND the mineral salt block as well.) No different from their hay, my horses get to choose from more than one source.

SO I put his electrolytes IN HIS FEED!  ? What you ask... YEP because his feed gets several things.

Water over their feed, to be absorbed / soaking the feed for easier digestion as feeds are hard on a horses system, and it creates a good bonder for supplements in a horse that does not need oil .  Cold water in the summer and HOT water in the winter.
A muscle development/ herbal powder.
An E with Selenium
this Electrolyte ( which is a 70%)
Rice bran oil  ( he needs for his PPSM/ EPSM AND it is what helps all the supplements  stick to the feed and not be left over in the bottom of feed bucket)
a feed through fly supplement

The person asking me, saw me purchasing EVER container of the electrolyte the store had in stock and back stock.

I have called all over and had no more at any of my other supplement sources (smart pack, tractor supply, or Balsam Quarter tack shop.

So I purchased all they had and pre paid for LOTS more! So I have enough time to figure out how much straight salt I am going to have to add to their feeds.

Oh well!
At least I can get everything else from ONE source, pre measured for when I have to get out of town for emergencies or on vacation so I do not have to worry about how much someone else is giving them ( even if I do make all my sandwich baggies of supplements and gallon size for feeds) for each horse. 

Any questions send me an email, or what ever you feel like!
My love to the world...

Friday, August 23, 2013

It is very late for me, well after my bedtime.  But as I settle in for the night my mind rambles with all the things I had hoped to get done this summer and never did.

My poor horses. 

I have already had my little girl shiver from the chilly rains in the middle of our summer.  The temperatures have been well below normal.  Our high has not hit over 82, our rain is out of control, and my horses are generally staying in a wet mud lot all the time.

I did have them eating pasture grasses for almost two hours a day and Navarre started tying up again.  I quickly had to cut them back, give them extra oils again and him more Vitamin E to take care of the ache muscles. 

He had gotten to where he ran around the pasture, happy to be out, and having a good time.  It quickly turned into a day of him walking and the next barely wanting to go out at all.   They are now only getting out as I wash their water tub, sweep the barn, and mix their fat and feed for the morning and night times. 

I wish I had enough free time in my day to make six trips to the barn, but as others go away on vacation; I pick up horses and birds to make yet still a little extra money for the animals I have.

The weather has been bad enough I can't just take the camera to the barn.
As I spoke on the phone to one of my sisters this morning, my walk only from the car to the barn, minor chores and back to the car and my clothes were WET on a morning no rain was falling.  WET from such a heavy fog, a fog that will only add to the mold in my hay as well.

Life is what it should be, but life this winter is going to be hard on my horses and birds as I see it.

I can only hope you too are getting prepared for what ever Mother Nature throws your way.

Hoping I can add a photo soon.
All my love to the world

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today I sit in my house, windows closed, birds quiet, and in full clothes.  Meaning Long pants, and a sweat shirt.  Yep! it's August and it's cold ... so much so that my basement is the warmest place in the house right now at noon.

Life is funny around Asheville these days.
Rain... 59.68 inches of rain to date... more than we normally get for the year!
rarely got over 85 degrees for any hot day this summer.
We never put in the window A/C unit for the down stairs.. but did allow the basement doors over for air circulation (the house is perfectly passively placed, and creates it own wind flow)

Oh well .. headed to the barn again to check on the kids... allow Sweet Pea out to eat and I'm planning on a ride with Navarre.

Life is what it is suppose to be.
Hope everyone is having a good day ... Photos and more later.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ok... so sense my last post MUCH has occurred.

Navarre is starting to tie up again so, my being able to let him out has been cut back to only allowing them to eat as I clean the water, do a little trimming each day around the barn and prepare their feed.

If I were not working two jobs I would be able to allow Sweet Pea to stay out longer but as of now going to the barn more than three time, and fighting Navarre is just too much for these older legs.

I do however have a phone video to share!
The other day ... it was amazing.  (although NOT easy to see, and I was walking most of the time ) I have to at least share this snip.

As I was getting the horses in, there no fewer than thirty (30) butterflies flying around.  As I said they are very hard to see but go to the end of the video! 

Mostly large yellow with black outlines and marks, small white, the tiny purplish grey and a few of the black with bright blue.    If you watch the entire video you will see it stopped me in my tracks, as it was an absolute delight to have them flying around all over the place.

It appears I can not get my video attached... Crap!
If anyone knows how ... please let me know... dying to share it with the world.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My little girl is doing well in this wet year. 

Her feet are nice and hard, easy to keep trimmed and as I have on a leg brace that bothers her, we will NOT be doing any riding so she no longer has shoes on her hind hooves. 

My little boy on the other hand...
Still has full pour on the front and normal shoes on the back. 

As you can see I have cut his hair... and only yesterday cut an inch off his dock to send to someone to have a necklace made.  I am positive no matter ... Navarre's hair will be perfect!

It is the hair from Sweet Pea I will be lucky if I can get a ring, key chain or something of the sort from her short hair.

In any case. 
I am off to work for the day!
I can only hope everyone reading this is doing well.

Much love

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It is very late for me, but as the steady sprinkle of rain falls, I wanted to let everyone know that I will be starting to carry to camera more on my days off from working at the clothing store.

Right now I have been working there 5 days a week and it goes down to only 4 soon.  This may allow me one day to take photos and share them with you as the week progresses.

Much love to you all
good night