Thursday, April 30, 2009

Henna, it's fun!

Note on the nose: I believe I re-broke it. My mom and I were fooling around and she forgot and accidentally smacked me in the nose. It cracked real loud and bled everywhere. Hurt more than the first time I actually broke it. Ugh.

Henna is a very old art form.

I like it a lot. I got offered a job by a lady at the mall to do henna tattoos at a new booth! FUN!

I don't think I have mentioned but I do professional face painting. I have probably painted a few thousand faces in a few years. I use a paintbrush and non toxic (for the skin, not ingestible like the cheap dollar store paints) theater quality face paints.

My own face, halloween 08. I can't believe I fit all that hair under that bright orange wig. I also make a big ass out of myself on a regular basis as you can see. Keeps you on your toes.

Anyway, what I am getting at. Henna. I have done both my feet, a lizard on my left ankle a few flowers on my sister and friends and it's a ton of fun.

A swirly thing that was fun. It's on my calf.Here are some facts:

Henna that is being applied to your skin should be kahki green to dark brown.

It should smell earthy, almost like grass or herbs.

After it has dried it should die your skin an orangy brown to chocolate brown.

It should last a week or two, sometimes more in certain areas with thicker skin like the bottoms of your feet and palms of your hands.

IT IS NEVER BLACK. Not when applying it, not when it's dried and you peel it off. Black "henna" is bad. It's also known as PPD which is basically hair dye. It can burn you, hurt you and has chemicals in it that are not good for skin. Even if the person says it's ok to use on skin don't get it. It's not natural.
PPD/hair dye is a sensitizer that a good population of people are allergic to. My mom says that a lot of hairdressers are allergic to hair dye because they use it all the time so they have to wear gloves. It can become as extreme as being allergic to black dyed clothing.

Henna is made from the leaves of the henna plant, it's not black, ever unless enhanced by chemicals.

For more information check out Henna page

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day two: the miracle cure!

I just love, LOVE, LOOOOOVE this stuff called Arnica.

I lied, I am gonna post a picture of my shovel face on here. Though it doesn't even look bad.

See arnica stops swelling. It works every time. I don't know what the hell I would do without it. I have a bottle in the barn. Any time you have aches, pains, bruising, use it. It works. I'll guarantee you it's not a waste of money. Speeds healing. See for yourself I took this just a few hours ago, more than 24 hours after I had my face re-arranged. My nose is a little off to the left.

I am squinting in this picture because I had a bright desk lamp pointed at me to get a decent picture in my room. Note my bitchin' new hat as my friend calls it. I had to have it after I wore it around a store on Sunday.

My nose doesn't hurt unless I smack it off something. I have allergies, my nose is itchy. This isn't going to go over well.

Oh I forgot to mention my mom has severe rhumatoid arthritis. She introduced me to Arnica. It's the only thing that helps her and shes on some 1000$ a shot once a week medicine that does less. Thank goodness for pension coverage.

So this post, anyone who has horses or injuries get arnica. If it can fix my face, it can fix your bruises and swellings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I brokd my sniffer

Yup. Face re-arranged by a horse. Like I say. It's not about if you are going to get hurt when working around horses. It's when and how bad.

These horses were at a barn before where the stall doors were just opened and they were allowed to gallop out.
They didn't like being lead. They expected to just be allowed to gallop out and away. I opened the stall door, stepped in, put the halter on and went to snap it up and BAM! horse head to face. I didn't even see it coming. Damn

What I did feel was my nose move across my face. Yup.
I said a few words. Ok more than a few words. Blood was coming out of my nose like a faucet. I was holding my nose, which was then crooked at an odd angle.

I shut the stall door, ran to the front isle, cracked my nose back into place and sopped up the blood with a box of kleenax. My boss' husband laughed. He said they couldn't do much for a nose. He was a nurse for a big number of years.
Everyone else stood around with their mouthes open, wide eyed.

I then did 8 stalls there, went into town for some more kleenax, a bandaid and ice pack and did the rest of my barns.

I got a nasty scrape on my nose that would not stop bleeding. I would be talking to someone and see a big drip out of the corner of my eye.

After that I went home and my mom totally wigged out. "your gonna get a blood clot in your nose and die in your sleep then I would never forgive myself!!" so, even though I had been driving all day my dad made my mom drive me to the clinic where the doctor that never shows any emotion laughed at me. The nurse laughed at me and writes on my medical file: headbutted in the face by a horse. Put own nose back in place. Scrape on nose

Everyone laughed at me.

I have pictures, I ain't putting them on here. It ain't as bad as I thought it would be. It isn't terribly swollen.

They took x-rays and my doctor came in and said "well it's broke and I don't think you needed the x-rays to tell you that" Referred me to a specialist. Oh I am going to just die if they have to do surgery on it.

I've started to do henna tattoos. I got a job in the mall hopefully we can work out hours that are riding and driving and stall cleaning friendly. Those pics are for another post.

So this monday goes out to the saying: Cowgirl up.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If the first best view in the world is from the back of a horse....

This must be the second best.

So I have been driving a lot lately. Like every day it isn't wayyyy to wet or raining. Indigo enjoys driving even though she never was a cart horse before I got her. She is the only horse I have trained that didn't try and speed ahead when the cart would hit big bumps and make loud noises randomly wile going down the lane.
She is a good VERY BAD GIRL!!!
But it was my fault. I didn't listen to her all last year when she was acting like a total nut. She randomly will do this half small rear half crow hop in the cart and I always growl and usually smack her in the butt with my reins and she would stop. She would do it when she got scared by the tree line with the evil, horse hitting birds in them, the birds are a whole nother story in themselves. But I finally figured out what it was. The crupper was too low and when she gathered up and tucked her butt in to spook at the birds it would ride the wrong way up her...ahem you know.
POOOR GIRLY!! I am soo sorry I should have listened!!!

I get cookies now right?
When I do carriage drives for events and such sometimes I start to ask the passengers questions, like parts of the harness. We usually go through reins and blinkers and breast collars before we get to the part under the horses tail. I always ask "Do you know what the crupper is?" and they reply "It's the part under the horses tail" I laugh and say "Every horses ass knows that" hahahhaha, I crack myself up. Funny, too funny.

Anyway back on topic. Indigo was so good when I drove her in the other work harness and thats because that crupper isn't adjustable like the one in the photo. I can't use that harness right now. Why you ask? Well we almost had a could have been death for Sydney experience.
I was driving down the neighbors very nice grass laneway across the road and we were going at a nice brisk trot. All of a sudden the shaft holder (the little loops on either side of the harness that hold the shafts up on the side of the horse) FALLS RIGHT OFF. My jaw just drops as I imagine myself doing the same superman impression out of the carriage that Murdo did last spring. I holler WOOOOOOAAHHHH!!!! and wadda ya know, Indigo plants her feet and WOOOOAAHHHS. I just about head butted her right in the butt. Oh Indigo you good, good piggy girl.
The bolt that heald the what was once a team harness now made into a single had stripped and came out of the saddle of the harness. I screwed it back in but it was slowly working it's way back out by the time I got back home.

I have a video but alas it's a .MOV file and I can't convert it yet...darn. It's cute.

Today we have the vets. I gotta go out and clean up Indigo before I trailer her to where I work. No vet fee that way ;P Indigo is always a good girl. She never blinks when she gets shots and doesn't need to be sedated for anything, even teeth, which also come today.

Oh and with the drive yesterday afternoon I learned a valuable lesson. Don't yawn when you are driving a shedding horse at the trot. I was picking hair out of my teeth for the rest of the evening.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretty boy

Ok so I have a post lined up about my recent adventures in driving Indigo but I can't figure (go figure the computer wiz is stumped for once) how to convert .MOV files into workable, watchable video files. Any suggestions? Does windows movie maker do it?

Anyway. I have to take care of this handsome boy for the past few days. His owner takes very good care of him and he is a very happy, nickery horse. She'll be back tomorrow.

Who can guess his age? There may be prizes in store ;D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's scary out there!!

Ok so the economy is starting to hit close to home.

My dad worked at Chrysler's for 35ish years. He deserved his pension. He helped create the local 444 union and was even union rep a few years. He retired about 5 or 6 years ago.
Today him and a good old work buddy are heading to Toronto for a demonstration on why the government should loan the money to them.

What about the 80 year old men that have worked, got their pension? They can't go back to work.

My dad in his mid 50's is still young enough to still work and he does on the side. He can only make so much so he works for the township with his tractor cutting lots that people own that they don't cut. He enjoys it and often comes back looking like swamp thing when the fish flies come around. Fish flies are a whole nother post.

The thing is, if Chrysler's goes down, GM is close to follow. Then Fords. Around here that is a BIG percentage of workers, especially ones over 30. My sisters husband has 14 years in at Chrysler's and he got his permanent lay off notice for June 1st. He is still young enough that hes applying to be an RCMP (royal canadian mounted police, just not on horseback lol hes too city boi for that).

No ones gonna have money to shop at wal-mart or the mall. No ones gonna be able to go to the movies. It's a very scary thing.

I hope the government re-considers and realizes the auto workers are such a big population around here and what it will affect.

So, has the economy hit close to home where you are at? What are you gonna do about it?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teh cuteness

It will get you.

I took this picture just under a year ago. Stormy was the most social, friendly foal.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ahhhh it's a monster!

Look at the big mouth on it. It might bite.

It's so big....

It can move mountains of....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Funny Friday- Whats wrong with this picture?

Who can spot it?

I forgot to add

Indigo is the most non-dramatic horse on the face of the earth.

I don't get my vet to do shots, I buy shots and give them myself. My horses trust me a lot and give me a lot less fuss than they do for the vet. That and it's always at least a few hundred dollars cheaper. However I do get him to do teeth. I get teeth done twice a year. I also ride bitless. Why twice a year you ask? Because I could do them once a year but by the time you may get them done once a year the horse may have difficulties eating. Sure they may not be noticeable but it would be kinda like having a cavity and only being allowed to go to the dentists once a year. You can sit in silent agony and wait. I would rather maintain them before they get sharp points or ripples or ridges because of a once year floating.

Anyway thats not the point of this post.
Indigo. I drove her, brought her back into the barn to tend to an old wound from last spring and give her her shot. It's a 5 in 1. It's got west nile, tetanus, influenza....erm I forget what else but she still needs her rabies. One tiny little shot, 65$. Ah what we do for our horses.
I thump on her neck a few times, she doesn't flinch, I take the cap off the needle, she doesn't back away, I poke it into her, she doesn't even blink, I depress it and no drama whatsoever! Shes like the bestest, best of best girl ever!! You would have thought I was petting her neck rather than poking her with stabby objects. Silly girl. Oh how I love her.

Naigen on the other hand, for as bombproof as that little lady was it took a friend to pin her against the wall and me to as quickly as possible jab her and let her go before she had a total panic attack. She seen that needle coming and would try and avoid you with all he had.

The morgans, well they are all good but Suzy, whom puts on a huge dramatic show and acts like you are going to murder her with a chainsaw or something.

The pony is kind of indifferent. He doesn't act like a fool but he jumps away when you poke him with the needle.

Atta' girl Indigo. Show them needle weenies how it's done.

On another note I seem to have lost my camera cord. I can upload pictures, but I can't take any new ones cause I can't charge the battery.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring!! It's here

And the horses are feeling it. They are goofy and hyper heat.

One who owns a mare can never forget the acrid smell and exact moment their horse goes into heat. Everyone within sniffing distance knows and everyone else that comes in contact with you after you have groomed or mucked the horses stall sure knows.

I got peed on several times. Naigen was famous for peeing on her back legs and tail since her tail bone was broken at some point. She couldn't quite lift it up long enough to avoid peeing on it. I would wash her and everyone knows what a hot day + mare urine + a hose and a bucket smells like. It usually gets on your clothes and that is all you can smell for the rest of the day. Gross.

Today I went to pick up Indigo's back foot. Shes really good about her feet but for some reason she did not want to pick it up and hold it there. She flailed it and then slammed it back down, I smacked her hard on the rump, went to pick it up again and voila! She peed, almost right on top of my head instantly.

arrrggggggg, mare!!! You are so damn lucky

So I had a sneaking suspicion she was going to be horrible to work with. She can be moody sometimes.

But she was great! I didn't even longe her beforehand. She got a little suspicious of some straw bales laying in the lane where the water usually washes out but other than that she was awesome. I totally suspected her to pull some of her spook and run bullcrap she tries when she is feeling good but she only sped off for about 4 strides and was back to a walk. Darn those scary stray bales.

Isn't that funny how bad they can be when you expect them to be good and how good they are when you think they are gonna be a handful?

Anyone got any good spring fever stories?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless wednesday- C'mon summer!

(Well actually you know I can never be wordless lol! So I have been featured at Mugwump chronicles, I feel so honoured even though my story has a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes I had fixed in another version that actually was published in a local newspaper)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two cents tuesday

Yup, you are getting my two cents. The title fits appropriately for the day.

First of all, who wears helmets? Who doesn't? Why? What discipline do you ride?

I wear a helmet about 80% of the time.
I think I am experienced enough around horses that I don't need to be told that the only thing predictable about horses is that they are unpredictable.
The 10% I don't wear a helmet is for when I do carriage rides for weddings and when I do pleasure driving classes at a show. Sometimes I just jump on bareback in the paddock but I ain't galloping around or anything. I've fallen off too and it's stupid but I guess I just gotta be a kid sometimes(still lol!).
I didn't wear a helmet when I drove until a year ago I seen the aftermath of a harness malfunction that caused the horse to come to a screeching halt as it got caught up on a guard rail. The driver was saved by his helmet as he quite literally did a superman impression out of the abruptly stopped carriage that was previously going at a wild gallop, attached to a horse.

I've cracked a helmet or two. My first one I dropped down the stairs. My dad didn't want to replace it so I had to go without riding until I saved up to buy a good velvet, top of the line helmet at the time. It cost me over 100$ and took me a month to save the money.

I cracked that one falling of a horse going at a full out gallop, being chased by a dog. The horse jumped the ditch, I lost both stirrups, wheeled her around and she went back over the ditch where I promptly jumped off and fell like a sack of potatoes in a frozen November field on my left side. My left leg was stepped on by the mare and my rotator cuff in my left shoulder was torn. It's still not normal today and is a bit frozen but my head was safe.
I still have that helmet. It's got a big crack in it.

The whole point of this post is to make people think about helmets. I stress each and every meeting with my group of 4H kids how important safety is. Safety comes before anything when it comes to horses. Helmets are to fit properly and be worn every time, not just because it's law here but because it's stupid not to.

Here are some facts:

A horseback rider is likely to have a serious accident every 300 hours of riding.
A motorcycle rider is likely to have a serious accident every 3500 hours of riding.

Because of your position, the circumstances, environment and unpredictability of a horse your experience as a rider, trainer etc is not guaranteed to protect you 100% of the time. Circumstances often leave it impossible to adjust your body position to correct yourself from hitting your head on something.

Riding injuries occur not because of the forward motion and speed of the horse, but the distance between the ground and your head.

A SEI/ASTM certified helmet is made to protect your head. Hunt caps for cosmetic purposes only protect your head from under 300g(g- gravitational force). They actually just barely make it to 200g. 300g is the minimum to create a serious, life threatening head injury. They drop all sorts of helmets from a 1.8 meter distance to the ground and only helmets that pass the SEI/ASTM certification process can be used for equestian events. SEI/ASTM helmets protect up to 800g! If that isn't a reason in itself to wear a certified helmet I don't know what is.

There are also various reasons riders do not wear helmets. I'll dispel a few.

I am experienced enough not to:
Research shows that more than 50% of riders that were admitted for serious injures had over 20 years of horse experience! wow.
No matter how many years of riding you have a horse is still a horse. I bring my horses out so often into very challenging situations most horse owners and riders wouldn't dare. They are dangerous and the horses are well trained and conditioned so not much bothers them. One day something completely new and scary can happen that you and no one else has any control over. For instance as I mentioned about me being chased by the dog and falling off. I had no control over that. I couldn't dismount because we were galloping through the field long before the dog had appeared and decided to chase us. I had no whip or way of getting rid of the dog and although the mare is not and was not afraid of dogs there was no way to tell her it was not going to eat her. Emergency dismounts couldn't have saved me because I would have been in the exact same situation and often times you don't know you are going to fall because it happens so fast and so quick you couldn't place yourself right if you tried.

I get a headache when I wear a helmet:
Then your helmet does not fit you properly. I have been in this boat. I wore this helmet for 5 minutes and I had the most splitting headache just like that. I never wore it again and never had that problem since.
A helmet should sit about a finger or two above your eyebrows and you should be able to shake your head back and forth and side to side without it falling off or sliding WITHOUT it being buckled up. The buckle should be snug but not loose where the helmet could slide back and expose your head.

Helmets are hot, uncomfortable or ugly:
This one with the number of styles, shapes, sizes and makes out there it should fit any riders budget or needs. There are even western hat helmets out there if you prefer a hat. I found my old helmets to be hot but I went with it. I also hated the dial fitting system but now they don't make them without it. I had to search high and low to find a dial helmet that I liked and was comfortable. I found international was the best for their dials and fit for me. A lot of people prefer Troxel but I am not a fan of how Troxel's helmets fit my head and I never found one that did fit right. Now I have a vented international velveteen "skunk stripe" helmet. I find a draft hits right above my forehead from the ventsso it's not hot at all.

It'll give me hat hair:
I personally can take my helmet off and my hair does not look any different. A blowdryer, brush and some styling products are easy to apply and fix but brains are a little harder to remedy; especially if they are someplace other than in your skull.

It's not tradition:
Cowboy hats were worn to protect a persons head from the sun, rain, wind etc why not make it tradition to protect your brain now that we have the technology.

I show and can't wear one:
I'll bet you on this one. If you were to wear a helmet and not place in a show and try and blame it on the headgear, I bet you if you asked the judge if he/she placed you lower in the class because of it you won't hear a yes. What you might hear is a few pointers on how you or your horse rode. Tough luck cookie but judges and shows do not penalize helmet wearers in this day and age.

They are expensive!:
Certified helmets are going for $29 and up! If you can't afford a low price like that should you really have a horse? The price of a helmet is cheaper than a hospital bill or funeral.
I guess if you still say no your brains are not worth the price of a helmet.
P.S.- If you donate your organs when you die can I have your brain? It'll be hardly used.

So there we have it. Who wears a helmet and who doesn't? Why/why not?

Oh and for you trail riders, the majority of accidents where someone was seriously injured was out on the trail. You can try and moderately control the environment in a paddock or arena, but not on a trail. Nature does as it sees fit.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seeing red

Sunday stills

Before I start I want to add something about barns since there are old barns in my pictures. Traditionally farmers used linseed oil to seal the wood of the barn. This would turn the wood an orange hue. Unfortunately this would not keep mould, moss, fungus or moisture from getting into the wood and the barns would have a short life span. This is where the real red tinge came into play. Farmers would add ferrous oxide (aka rust) to the oil mixture. When it dried it would give a rich reddish orange hue to the wood and protect it more than just the oil.
After red became the traditional colour wealthy farmers would add blood to the oil mixture after a big slaughter and it would dry a burnt red colour.
Once paint became cheaper to seal wood with the fire engine red became typical to see.
Dairy farms came around and white washing was cheaper yet.

There you have it, a history of red!!!

This Sunday stills was easy. Finding the time wasn't. I do however have an abundance of red things around. I could have gone on all day to photograph tons of things. Red truck, red tack trunk, red carriage, red four wheeler of the neighbors zooming up and down the lane. The list goes on.

Red halter

The red Canadian stop sign

Red grain buckets

Red Konk lid

White...err mud horse, red barn. I think shes trying to use horsey eye and ear language to say "Put down the evil bright light device and feed me already!"
Red barn
Red barn(s) The two in the front of the picture used to be about 200 meters or so back in the field. Don't quote me on it but I believe they are about 150 years old, maybe older. They were moved up closer to the road in the 70's and added on to.

This is the front of the barn. This used to swing down(the section there with the boards a little shorter than the others) and that little hole at the peak is where a pulley would be. Hay would have been loaded onto a wagon, pulled by a team of drafts and then hauled up into the big hayloft. The pulley system is still there in the loft but I wouldn't want to use it anytime soon.

RED RUM!!! RED RUM!!*Cue Stephen king* ok, just testing.

Red rock! This one is in the garden by the barn door. We have a big slab of rock under the farm right where the paddocks are so every spring rocks surface. We can pick them up every year and they just pop back up in the spring. Good for keeping the horses feet hard.

Enjoy. Have a happy easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Interesting day

I got up at 7:30am this morning. I just now sat down. It's 10:20 pm eastern time.

Once I was done at work I went out to see Indigo. I walk into the barn and hear this forlorn mewing of a very young kitten. I assume it was in the hayloft.

mew, mew, mew, mew, mew goes the kitten. No kitten up there. I look out a spot where a board was missing and sure enough right below me in the barnyard a very young kitten.

I climb down and over the fence. The kitten appears to be a day old I assumed. It was a cute little calico meowing so pitifully as they often do when they can't find mum.

I picked it up and stroked it's soft little fur. Poor little guy was so cold and soo, sooooo young.
I walked over to the calf barn. I couldn't see mum being too far.

Sure enough in the straw lay fluffers, two more kittens at her side, all licked clean and warm. I put the little lost kitty with her but she couldn't stay there for someone came to investigate why I had a gate out and why I was sitting on it.

Why hello thar.
Feeds me!

I shooed her away and in the blink of an eye a fourth kitten was born. A cute little tortoise. Now there are two calico, a silver tabby and a tortoise kitty. Maybe she will have more when I go out tomorrow morning to feed.

What a good mum Fluffers is. She is probably about five this year.

I put the gate in front of the door so Sheba wouldn't step on her. I went out to work Indigo.

She lost a little weight in the winter so I put her on some cracked corn. Boy was she gassed up today and raring to go. I couldn't use the round pen because it was too slippery still so I started to longe her in the hay field. She started out at a nice trot. I made her change directions a few times then a cat came sauntering out from an old tree stump. She gathered herself up and went zooming around at a really fast canter, fuled by a very auditable fart. I hollered at her and she came down to a nice extended trot then burst off again, zooming around like a maniac.

And I was going to drive this crazy horse today!? What was I thinking.

I took her for a little walk then we longed in the other hay field. She pulled another fart and gallop around like a maniac stint. After she got over that we went for a walk along the road in the field. She honestly, is the most observant horse. She looks at everything. I used to joke she had a fishtail head. She is always looking left and right and every other way when I ride her. It showed. She would get behind me walking but I would make a clicking noise and she would trot up to my shoulder. What a good girl!

I just thought about that. If my horse can walk on a slack lead (I mean it was slack today, she could have stopped to eat if she wanted) why can't I make my dog walk beside me!? I guess thats why I train horses and not dogs. Just my dog, she a pain in the ass. I mean she knows how to heel. She will do it, until something catches her attention which on average happenes ever 5 to 10 seconds.

Anyway I walked over to where the big paddock and hay field meet and longed her again. She was huffin and puffin but she was good. She only tried to zoom around once or twice more which was stopped by a good tug and growl on the line. I had an audience too. All the horses came cantering over and stood at the fence when they seen her running around. Silly horsies.

Oh and before I go, happy easter from the wabbit!

"Gawd I hates you!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weird wednesday

Again for my lack of being wordless.

I've dabbled in blacksmithing. It's a ton of fun. The local homestead lets me use their cool old shop any time I want. I volunteer there a lot by bringing my horses for events such as the upcoming parade of horse breeds and other events. I used to give pony rides there a lot and donated all the money to the refinishing of the main house and farm buildings. It really is a gorgeous old farm place right on the lake. But that is for another post.Me hammering away at something I was making. I think this was a bridle hanger I made which I ended up giving away to my moms best friend before she died. She spent many countless hours in this exact same forge. She was a farrier and a blacksmith and made some amazing art out of metal.

I am allergic to dust and mold and boy when I used the blower as seen in my left hand, it started the dust going. I was sneezing and rubbing my nose with my sooty gloves. I looked like I had been in the shop for a week when I was done rather than a few hours. I had black soot all over my face and nose.
The gloves I was using this particular day had a hole in the left thumb. Just after this picture was taken I touched where I shouldn't have and just about burnt my thumb print off. I hollered a little and dunked it into the barrel of water and went on working.

I have some hoof picks someplace. I made them out of old horse shoe. They are pretty cool.
I would love to have a neat shop like this one day. Working with metal has been a very fond past time of mine even before I learned blacksmithing. I used to make jewelry out of wire but theres something about blacksmithing that makes me want to purse my dream of going to the belleville school of horseshoeing to become a farrier.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just in case the last post hasn't enticed you to want jewelry out of horse hair here is my latest creation. Into the wee hours of last night I worked.... ok only till midnight :P

This is from the tail hair of the big golden bear

I had the seed beads from a wile back. I love their colour. It reminds me of Dallas' buckskin coat.

Some FAQ's about horse hair jewlery.

Horse hair is very strong. Especially when braided. It does not break or unravel and feels almost like fishing line.

I use tail hair for all my creations in exception to mane hair for tassles.

Any number of horses can be added into the creation. I have one flat braid bracelet that a woman sent me 14 different horses hair! It was an interesting rainbow of hair colours.

Hair can be dyed. So if you have white or light coloured hair I can dye it any colour you like.

Horse hair jewelry's worst enemy is abrasion. Worst case is you catch the jewelry on something and break a hair. Just take a pair of toe nail clippers and clip the loose hair as close to the others as possible.

If you treat it right it'll last you many, many years. I have some horse hair jewlery that was given to me as a kid that is over 50 years old! It looks brand new.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Oh dear. Aren'tcha glad you don't have this problem. Ok maybe you do but once again duct tape solves all the worlds problems.

Erm, happy Monday?

On another note I need some horse tail hair. I have a project idea I want to do with the month of April off but I fear my horses are going to go bald in the tail department before too long. So I am offering this, because it is an artistic experiment of sorts for a VERY reduced price. I want to make a western browband, you know the v-knot ones like this browband
out of horse hair. I have horse hair but it's for other things like two hat bands needing to get done, a bracelet and a necklace but I really want to make a browband. I would need a minimum of 18 inches TAIL hair (mane is too fine but makes good tassels) about as big around as your thumb, maybe a bit bigger. I always send any unused hair back or I would be swimming in it. I usually pick from several different horses. Different colours would be cool too!. It will have two silver conchos where the browband attaches to the headstall and tassles in the front. Completely out of horse hair.

If you are interested drop me a message here and we can discuss price, how much horse hair, how to collect it and the size of your horse. Check out my Gallery . Unfortunately I only really have jewlery up there. I do hatbands, belts or anything someone can think of I'll give it a whack.

Amazing deal since most braiders and hitchers charge 200$ and up for custom work. Won't even cost you 50$ so long as you promise to take some pics for me after on your horse ;).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Stills

Sunday stills

This weeks challenge was animal husbandry. I exclaimed OH! I can do that! Only to remember that any pictures of the cows would have been on film and who knows where they are.

So I did the next best thing.

From left to right: Sophie (Sunrise Sophia) second oldest, Sebastian (Sunrise Sebastian) oldest, Suzy (BOM westside lady) The QUEEN of the paddock and the best mom ever!, Stormy (Sunrise snowstorm) youngest. They are all purebred Morgans. One of the few lines that don't have saddlebred in them.
There was a fifth. Sienna. She unfortunately got out and got hit by a car shortly after I got Indigo. She was a bitch of a mare though. Hell of a carriage horse. That mare could trot for 11 miles before wanting to stop for a walk. But still never fun to deal with.

Suzy and I are an unbeatable driving team! I over 100 ribbons and quite the few trophies from that mare. I went for a drive yesterday and she was soooo fired up. It was great. I love her.

I also rode Indigo seriously yesterday for the first time in a wile. She was CRAZY!!!! Shes getting some cracked corn to put a little more weight on her that the winter took off and her mind was everywhere but trotting circles in the field. She was acting all stupid and crazy. Ah silly neigh.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Shut yer mouth

The Wife asked "Does she ever keep her mouth closed?!" So here it is, a picture of Indigo, mouth closed.

Just in case you were curious, about 90% of the pictures I have of her are with her mouth open. Silly neigh.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sleepy yet?

Just cause you can't get enough, theres more yawning.

Some interesting tidbits in an article I wrote for a magazine a wile back:

A horse eats roughly 22.04 pounds of grass in a day if allowed to graze.

It drinks 20 gallons a day when it is hot and he is losing electrolytes, and 12-15 on cooler days. To make sure your horse is getting adequate water intake in the winter and even summer adding 1 tsp of NTM (natural trace mineral) salt, twice daily to every 1000 pounds of body weight will increase the ammount a horse will drink and replenish the salts lost in sweat.

Horses create 12 gallons of saliva a day! However this number is only met if the horse is receiving adequate forage to chew on and make that saliva. Chewing activates a horses salivary glands.
Since most horses are forced to eat solid salt blocks meant for cows they often tire or run out of saliva before their needs are met. Cows have rough tongues and salivary glands that are activated by moving the tongue around so they are able to receive adequate minerals from a salt block. This is why you often find bite marks in the salt blocks. The horse is trying to create more saliva by chewing or biting the salt block.

Horses do not have a pancreas so they do not create any amylase in their saliva. Amylase is responsible for breaking down starches. This is why large carbohydrate meals are hard on a horses digestive system.

A horse can comfortably carry 20% of it's total weight.

A horse is capable of pulling three times it's weight and sometimes more!

And the deal maker *drumroll* A horse produces 50 pounds of manure a day! That equals it's body weight in about 3 weeks.

Who says shoveling S**T is easy!?
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