Monday, November 26, 2012

White line disease

Does this "cracked" hoof wall look familliar?

 The right hoof was trimmed but not completely finished and the left was untrimmed. You can see in the toe of the right where I rolled it the crack stops in the outer hoof wall.

They don't go down to the white line and the horse has no definite splits in the hoof so why worry, right?

They seem to be more evident in white hooves, which is just a wives tale (there's no difference in white/black hooves but the lack of melanin influenced by the skin above the hoof) but you see blemishes more easily in white hooves.

Farriers have different names for them, grass cracks, weather cracks, dry cracks etc.

The hoof wall seems more reluctant to chip off, thrush that doesn't seem to want to completely go away, falling apart frogs, lack of concavity, ouchiness on rough terrain, can't hold shoes without chipping off, persistent flares are just some of the symptoms.

There is ALWAYS a reason why hooves don't look smooth and shiny without someone running a rasp over them. A common and yet very unknown cause: White line disease!!!

White line disease (Hereafter known as WLD) is an inappropriate name because it actually originates between the pigmented layer of hoof and the unpigmented layer (AKA the water line as some people call it), not the white line. However it can go down into the white line in a severe case and cause it to die and become hollow (Seedy toe). The pathogens get into the hoof wall, be it by injury such as an abcess, cut hairline, compromised laminae (laminitis, founder) etc. or by neglect such as bad living conditions, long time between trims leaving flares and stretching the laminae, allowing the pathogens to invade etc. It comes from the coronet band and makes it's way down the hoof. This is where you start to see the cracks in the hoof wall. Sometimes the hoof will split and it is common practice for a farrier to either "score" the crack with a rasp, burn it or put a shoe on it to stop it from splitting. The problem is this only treats the aftermath of the issue, not the source so it never goes away completely.

Here you can see a black hoof.

The outer wall is black, the white next to it is the un-pigmented hoof wall layer and then the white line appears yellow. This gelding has had a crack for 5 years and was lame without shoes. So farrier after farrier put shoes on him and yet his hoof still cracked. I came along and told the owner about what was really going on. Notice the bad quality of frog and black between the layers of hoof wall were dead, necrotic tissue has been living.

Here's the hoof clipping. You can see where the split occurred, leaving the pigmented hoof wall intact behind it.

This horse is on his way to having nice, new feet.

This mare however the owner reports always flares, cracks and grows next to nothing for hoof wall. Can you guess what I seen when I rasped a little?
See the black crap there, right between the layers of hoof wall? That is the white line disease. Atrophied frog, nasty.

So what does one do to get rid of this nasty, sneaky sucker? Well start by throwing away all those hoof dressings, thrush treatments and hoof ointments that have chemicals in them. If you have coppertox or have used bleach stop right now! Stop it! Stop it right now and say it with me: IF YOU WOULDN'T PUT IT ON YOUR OWN SKIN DON'T PUT IT ANYWHERE ON YOUR HORSES. PERIOD!!
Chemicals like bleach, coppertox, thrush buster etc. kill good tissues and horn in the hoof. This creates a new buffet of compromised structures for these pathogens to invade and make a new home. Make sure you read labels, pick something that isn't going to harm live tissue. My personal favorite and most effective is Clean trax. It takes a bit more time but is far more effective than anything I have used (yes white lightning included which as I personally witnessed, ate a clients denim jeans. Yikes!).

So my question to you guys, have you witnessed these cracked hooves? What have you been told?

Monday, November 19, 2012

never enough

One simply does not

Have too many pictures of their horse sticking out their tongue.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I have a mascot

The business has a mascot.
Or a new family member.

Meet Clinch. Well this was him in August.

Isn't he cute? He doesn't look much like this anymore, the little, cute, terror. 

At one of the farms where we trim horses (they are all barefoot) the owner of the land's one dog had puppies. His mother is a white Pomeranian chihuahua cross and his dad was a heeler. How on earth that was possible is beyond me.
All six of the puppies were born on a 115 degree day and one of the boarders thought they were all dead because they were under a stump and completely covered in flies. They were nursed back to health but not doing very good when we met them 6 weeks later, covered in ticks and fleas. They were extremely underweight and wormy too. Through our business we got them all adopted though and of course, kept Clinch for our own.

Savanah wasn't quite sure what to make of him at first. She stalked him everywhere and nipped at him, trying to instigate some sort of dominance fight. Eventually he wheeled around, growled, barked and charged at her with his evil little needle puppy teeth. She regarded him differently ever since.

 The dog park is tiring. Clinch, never having seen a dog toy immediately discovered Savanah's for the thieving. Here they are playing "tug of prettiest".

Looking back on these pictures it's hard to remember when I first weighed him at the vet's he wasn't even two pounds!

 Hose water is the best.

"Roo roo roo!!"

How could you ever get angry at that face?

He has an obsession with burying things he doesn't find tasty. He insists on a horse treat when the horses get one, but always buries it in soft dirt, if he can find some. Leaves or my sweater lying on the seat of the truck make a good alternative place to bury things. He shoves the "dirt" back over the treasure with his nose it's so funny.

Clinch came in the other day totally soaking wet and on a wet dog "rampage". It being super dry here I started to rack my brain thinking of what on earth he got into to soak himself...and smell SO BAD!! The sewer lagoon. YUCK!!!

He grew and grew and is now almost ten pounds!

Savanah is 19 pounds. I don't think he will be that big but he sure has grown like a weed. He was biting her paws and she was doing her best to be tolerant so she was biting the blanket.

His colours have come in darker as he aged. He had the werewolf face when he was younger but all the black is almost gone on his head other than around his ears.

He has become my almost constant companion. He loves coming with me when I do farrier work and gets along with every dog I see on my rounds. Everyone falls in love with him because he usually makes a beeline for the first person he see's, tail wagging, happy bounding little puppy. Be definitely is a one person dog, insisting to sit on my lap all the time or cuddle up next to me on the couch or running to me for shelter when he aggravates a duck or rooster too many times and gets bit. Hes one saucy little bugger.

The saucy dog that licks the truck windows and bites and growls at the wind when the windows are down...

He is special. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Slow feeders

This year has been horrible for crops, hay included. Until September we had less than four inches of rain since May and it was dry, dry, dry, dry. The first cutting of hay was pitiful and the others simply did not exist. So I went to buy gold hay for the old ladies, who cannot have hay off the round bales due to their allergies. Alfalfa is what they were getting and it wasn't an option. No one had any and if they did the price was astronomical. We ended up getting some decent grass bales for a decent price. The problem is the old ladies are picky and spread their less appealing grass hay in a 50 foot radius, stomping, pooping and peeing on good hay that should be eaten. So I spent a great deal of time thinking about how to feed the ladies. We thought about putting the hay in a feeder so at least it was off the ground. Knowing horses they were likely to take a huge first bite of a flake and shake it all over.
So I thought, I need a feeder that I can put hay in and they can't just take a flake out and stomp and poop and pee all over it. I have seen hay nets such as Lisa's from Laughing orca ranch but I couldn't really hang them on the shed due to the shed being pretty old and probably wouldn't fare well against daily hungry horse abuse. If they were on the ground I was afraid of them or something getting wound up in it. So I decided to go with something not only portable but durable. I didn't want to be re-making this thing.
So with my idea's and Maverick's carpenter skills (that is after all, his first trade before being a farrier) we made this: 

 It only has one coat of paint and no lid at this point. We built it completely out of scrap lumber. We literally only bought a hog panel for the sides because after thinking about the many we have on the farms they were all bent up and not worth the bother to try and straiten or fix them. I also bought barn paint for the lumber because I didn't want it to rot or have any harmful substances the horses could ingest.

We started with an old pallet for the bottom and built up from there. The pyramid for the middle keeps the flakes of hay against the sides. You can fit approximately 1 bale of hay in here. The first week I used it the ladies inhaled the hay in a couple hours. Now a week later they munch on it, pulling mouthfuls from between the bars (their teeth don't touch the hog pannel I made sure) they go away, graze, come back. There's always a little left when I come back the next feeding which is great, meaning their stomachs are never empty.

 The old ladies are also eating hay together now, rather than squabbling at feeding time over who gets the hay pile they want (Indigo).

I have another idea using the hog panel to make a V shaped one but I have yet to see round bale ones that were not hockey net. Anyone have ideas?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Miniature horses and ponies...

I want to make this really clear right now. I know other farriers feel the same as I do because I get called when no one else will come out to trim and fix the buggers.

Miniature horses are NOT big dogs. They do NOT cost less to keep and maintain than a big horse. Hoof care is no exception so when looking for a farrier don't expect quality hoof care to come half price, which is what most mini owners expect.

They still eat hay, the hay comes out the other end, hurt themselves on invisible objects and have four hooves.

There's only two types of ponies (and mini's); Foundered and gonna.

Having said that this is what happens when a mini's owner is denied farrier care by several farriers recommended by a local vet. These are his hind feet. His front's were not that bad and I forgot to take a picture.

It's a bad picture because he is standing on the grass but the bottom of his hooves are deformed and turned towards each other. His last trim was June of this year so it wasn't like it took years for his feet to become this way. The owner didn't want to attempt to attack the problem himself but was running out of options as no other farrier would answer his call or come out because they had mini's.

This is the after. This little guy was extremely cooperative, unlike many foundered patients. His feet are still turned a bit due to the hoof capsule being crushed dbut in due time he will turn around.
The owner and his brother were extremely pleased to set up followup appointments and despite having other farriers out before to work on this guy in better condition than he was when I worked on him they had absolutely no clue what founder was other than they knew a horse could get it from eating too much grain and it caused the hoof to grow weird. We had a nice long talk and now they understand what founder is, what causes it and what precautions they should take, especially in fall which is a prime time for founder.

Having said this mini's are the hardest horses to trim. I would take a draft any day over a mini. It doesn't mean they are any less important when it comes to hoof care. It means the little buggers ensure I will shed some blood and lose some skin. Not from them, although many owners assume mini's are big dog's and never take the time to handle them. Their feet are small and the mini's are wiggly. Fingers and hands plus a rasp do not equal trimmed mini feet. They mean I am likely to have to put a liniment on a horse later that evening (I love you absorbine liniment) and subject my hands to what feels like battery acid. I also usually walk a little hunch backed for the rest of the day.

I want to hire a midget. Anyone know a midget that want's to learn how to trim mini's? I'll pay them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When it rains, it pours...

And thunders, compete with computer, T.V and other electronic frying lightning.
Yes the computer was plugged into a surge protector. A friend of ours had some things get hit too. It finally stormed. Wind and lightning and a bit of hail made us all believe we were finally getting some sort of rain. But it only amounted to 1/8 an inch, despite all the commotion.
That was in July. It is almost impossible to blog on my phone and between traveling to Oklahoma and Canada, here, there and everywhere I just recently got around to getting a useable internet connection again.

Many things has happened this summer. Before I go on to those I'll tell you, because so many have asked. Moose is doing well. We had a little scare when he choked, strained a muscle in his neck and wouldn't eat. He now gets his grain all wet down and no solid grains.

One of my favorite of course is my farrier business. I never get sick of looking at horses legs and feet. I never get sick of the horses owners calling me and telling me how much better their horses are after I bring them back to proper angles or remedy a lameness.
One thing I say often: Never judge another farrier for his(or her) work because you never know where they started.

So far starters here are some pictures. Today's blog subjects are all founder.

Becky, a foundered mule. 

X-Rays of Flash. A 15 year old arabian gelding shod 3 weeks before by another farrier and x-rayed the Monday before I got there at the request of the other farrier. You can see where the toe isn't even touching the shoe.and there's almost no sole depth.

 Flash. The foot in the x-ray is the left front (closest in the picture) the other hoof lost the shoe a day or two before. Note again how the toe isn't even touching the shoe.

 Fancy, a foundered mule with an extreme contracted deep digital flexor tendon. This is why she appears knuckled over.

All of these animals are from different owners. Some kept putting it off, others didn't know there was any hope and some it was neglect on other farriers part. All are on a six week or less schedule for their feet being done to avoid them becoming the mess they were in these pictures.

Did any of them survive? How did they get this way?


She was once a mule in a pretty nice little driving team. She foundered and was out on quite the few acres and became pretty wild. We managed to trick her into an area and made a squeeze chute out of two panels, sandwiching her between them.

Then we broke out the big tools. Our Dewalt sawsall.

I kept the pieces of hoof it was pretty cool. The dogs all keep trying to steal it out of my shoeing trailer though.

When the whole deal was done. It was kind of a crude job but we didn't have a whole lot to work with when it came to her right front. The heel was so collapsed. Next time.

Fancy.  Her owner acquired her not long before I came by. He said she spent many hours laying the pasture and not moving much or braying. I already hacked off six inches that had curled back towards her leg.

 I was hitting a solid chunk of dead hoof so I went to the trusty hacksaw.

The finished product. Her owner reported her last trim as cruising up and down the pasture and braying at him when he comes outside in the morning.

He ripped the front right shoe off that had been on for three weeks by another farrier. The other farrier requested that the owner get x-rays. It doesn't take a vet to show me that about two inches of toe need to be taken off to maintain the hoof-pastern axis.

Front left, lateral.

 Front right, lateral.
After. Reduced the size of the shoe by almost two sizes. Removed the laminar wedge at the toe and returned the hoof-pastern axis to something more normal. Pad and silicon soft pour in packing material under it. Next reset more of the laminar wedge will be removed. The toe is off the shoe due to the pressure placed on the laminae and hoof wall previously. Next trim we should have something more to work with and hopefully nail a shoe to. Although I love most horses barefoot this horse's goal is to be comfortable. He came to me pretty darn lame and trotted off to visit his buddies in the pasture.

So thats it for today. Feel free to ask questions. All the animals here are doing much better.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Itty bitty, Moose

For all those who have asked about my little orphaned colt, Moose.

Moose is doing well. He has been affectionately nicknamed "bitty".

Mmmm, nom time

The night Rocky died we left to get foal lac, a powdered milk replacer for foals. Unfortunately the only place open on a Saturday night that had it was a vet's office. Can you hear the dollars flying out of my pocket? It cost me twice the amount, as I found out later. I had bottle fed a baby before at a farm I worked at so this would be a piece of cake!
WRONG. Moose strongly informed me that Foal lac is indeed poison. It tastes, smells, looks like poison. We tried everything and finally resulted in basically force feeding him the poison because he was obviously fading. Later around midnight for another feeding I was tired and at my whits end I decided to soak some grain he had received with his mom with the foal lac. As long as the foal lac was pretty much strained out of the grain he would get some of it down. I went to bed for what seemed like seconds before going back out to force feed him again.
Moose obviously had started to lose strength. He spent most of his energy on escaping several fences we had decided should hold ANY horse as some were built with high tensile wire and telephone poles. Apparently we never figured colt's into that equation because he managed to wriggle right through with a few good scratches on his hind legs. We would find him taking a stroll through the yard in random directions, calling for his mama.
Eventually he became too exhausted to escape yet another pen (4 fences later) and fell asleep in a tired heap not too far from the other horses.

Moose loved strait grain and ate it well because his mother and him had been eating it twice a day since before he was born. He resented people for a few days, evading capture as best he could when it came to feeding time. He did have hay to eat and did eat hay but it was a roller coaster for the first couple days. He would be strong and fight then he would be obviously weak and tired. He still called with his heart wrenching nickers for his mama.

 I looked high and low for a goat that was milking to hopefully feed him cheaper than the foal lac. No luck. I did not jump up and down at the thought of milking a goat but hey, it was cheaper than foal lac. Luckily a friend of ours has goats for milk and her son's 4-H. Shes been giving us a couple milk jugs full a day! What a wonderful lady! We have been helping her out as much as possible. I trimmed all her goats hooves for the 4-H fair that night, in shorts with my farrier chaps over them and cowboy boots on. I was sylin'.
Finally Moose ate. I really wasn't sure if he was starving or if it was the goats milk. But he ate. Only if the milk was mixed with grain out of a bucket. Voila! I had to sit with him so the other horses didn't push him off it (PEPE!!) He ate slow at first but now he sees me coming and is at the gate before I come out of the shed with his bucket then proceeds to inhale it as fast as possible, which came to a sort of scary scenario.
I am not sure how many of you have experienced this. As Moose proceeded to snarf down the grain at one point when we were fighting with him to eat the foal lac and he choked. Choke happens when something lodges itself in a horses throat in which they cannot a) Throw up, well because a horse cannot throw up or b) swallow. He had just taken a large mouthful of his poison foal lac grain and suddenly his eyes bugged out of his head, he stopped swishing his tail and had a sort of convulsion. I knew immediately having seen horses choke before what was happening. The lucky thing is that horses systems are designed so they do not breathe through their mouth so they will still continue to breathe, unlike a human who could quickly die from lack of oxygen. Each time he would try and swallow he would lean back and his whole body would stiffen and he would shudder violently. The sudden pain scared him and he took off across the pen at mach 5 finally stopping dead in his tracks with another scary convulsion. I got a hold of him and started massaging his throat and neck. I also called the university vet. Just a quick note here: If you don't have the number to the closest university vet, get it! Most will answer your questions for free and are very knowledgeable, especially when it's late and your vet may not be available for a wile. None of the local vets answered but the emergency line at the university was prompt and told me I was doing everything correctly and it should hopefully pass.
Luckily as I was talking on the phone to a very nice lady vet and massaging Moose's neck his little tail started to swish and he relaxed, knowing the grain had dissolved in his throat. He smacked his lips and looked eagerly at the bucket for more. Scary for sure.

But as the days have gone by Moose has decided the reason I was put on earth; to feed him and to scratch his whole body, all over, all the time.  He prefers his goats milk cold and his scratches after he has finished eating. Then he will wander on over with the rest of the horses and stretch out like a corpse on his side in the sun and digest.

Moose, you are a pest. Let me finish my work. Here, wear this hat

He doesn't mind being mauled by kids, the dog, cat's, chickens or all shorts of machinery like tractors and weed eaters. They have been part of his life from day one. He also had his feet trimmed for the first time a couple days ago and was a complete doll due to him being imprinted a few hours after birth. I held him and Maverick trimmed him. It's very important to trim a foals hooves when they are young, especially if they are toeing in or out. Especially before three months, when their knees will pretty much permanently set in which direction they grow. Moose was unfortunately a slight bit toed out when he was born. A toed out foal will wear more on the outside of it's hooves and less on the inside, allowing the inside to grow longer which will only accentuate and worsen the toeing out. The opposite is true for a toed in foal. So we have been lowering the medial (inside) and leaving the lateral (outside) longer to make him strait again and it has worked. In just a few days after trimmings you can see definite improvements. We take little, often to ensure he will not be sore and so his tendons and ligaments can adjust to the new position.

So for all those worried, Bitty, I mean Moose, is doing a lot better than expected. So much that when I was at a farm last week shoeing a horse the lady had a colt twice his age there that was his size. Moose is going to live up to his name and be, well a moose if he continues to grow like a weed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

life can be so, so cruel

As everyone knows when you own a horse it comes a time when tragedy will strike. You can either pull your big girl pants up and do the right thing or run in the other direction.

Rocky died yesterday afternoon.
Maverick and I went from petting and playing with Pepe and Moose to scrambling to help a 1500lb horse that was bleeding to death in less than 30 seconds it seemed.

I won't go into the extreme details here. It was a freak accident sort of thing. Rocky was tied to a sturdy post wile we played with Moose and Pepe a short distance away, well within view. We have had horses, really rank, wild horses tied to this post before. It's secure and sturdy, made out of an old Osage tree. Rocky was tied short. I am really anal about tying horses short. I've seen more freak outs with people tying a horse too long so I knew better. She was a bit anxious but nothing uncontrollable. She pawed a few times, neighed. She was used to us playing with Moose and being tied up but before we knew it she had climbed the old five foot tall gate and was stuck somewhat like this cow.

I had to add something to lighten the post. This cow makes me laugh.

Her being stuck on the gate was fine. She hung out for a few moments, pretty calmly I might add, as we came over to quickly determine what was to be done and she thrashed. Rocky has always been a pretty calm horse in situations others would have lost their marbles. Her sudden realization she was caught hung over the gate she flailed and broke the gate. When the gate broke she landed on a T-post I had no clue was even there, tight against the gate due to some tall foliage. But the damage was done and she began to bleed, very bad.

We had to do what I hope, and I sincerely mean this, none of my readers ever have to do. We had to get a gun and shoot Rocky to end her suffering. She was in shock and bleeding out fast, unable to hold herself up once she came off that post. The T-post hit a main artery, right off her heart and there was nothing we could do and no time to get a vet out there that fast to euthanize her.

Murphy's law of horses should add another one to the list: "Horses will find it and they will injure themselves on it".

This is not the first time I have seen a horse get seriously injured on a t-post. This time it just happened to be my horse in a place horses shouldn't have even been. I cap most of my t-posts either with bike tire tubes folded over with electrical tape or commercial t-post caps. For anyone who has not yet seen a horse at the very least give themselves a good scrape with a T-post please think about capping them. The caps and time it takes to do that is a lot cheaper than a vet bill, or a life.

This left us with one 6 week old colt with no mom. Moose had his buddies with the other horses but he cried and cried and cried for his mama. He could smell where she was near the gate and spent a long time there. Then he proceeded to escape from 4 separate pens we thought to be escape proof (electric and a pretty solid round pen made of telephone poles, and one wooden gate he climbed like a ladder) and run around in a panic looking for mama. Finally he settled in at 10 pm with the rest of the horses and ate hay. He wanted little to do with the foal lac milk replacer but gladly ate his regular grain; if it wasn't mixed with the foal lac poison!

It's very unfortunate, but life can be so cruel sometimes. Rocky was a great mare. I really liked her and so did everyone else who met her. She had such a steady, easygoing personality she was a blast to work with for a horse who spent her previous 9 years totally wild. You never had to teach her something twice. I can only hope Moose will grow up to be like her. For now I shall spend my spare time feeding a rambunctious colt and loosing sleep for midnight feedings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arnicare winner!!

We have a winner.


"Right now, I am struggling with tendinitis all through my arm:( The worst thing that I can think of was being thrown over a corral when my horse stepped on a bee's nest.


Please e-mail me with your address and information. I hope Arnica can help you with your tendonitis.

p.s- There's another contest coming up soon. The product is for horses, and it has arnica in it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Arnicare contest update!

I'm extending the Arnicare contest until tomorrow (Wednesday the 11th) due to me being on vacation.

So if you would like the chance to win a tube of Arnicare gel skip on over to the contest post

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Black and blue and bruised all over! CONTEST

Before I took my dive into the profession of hoof care I regularly bruised myself. Half the time I never realized how the heck I gave myself one but there it was in all it's multi coloured glory.

This was a kick by a very spoiled, rude paint horse. Unfortunately my Arnica was several hours away from being put on, hence the big bruise.

Now that I am underneath horses on a daily basis as a profession I seem to bruise things more often. But let me tell you, it's never the drafts or warmbloods or over sized goofy horses that bruise you; it's the mini's.
When one trims a mini one can almost guarantee to scrape a knuckle, pull off a fingernail or get thumped, bitten or tromped on. There's something about small hooves and your hand that don't mix well when stirred in a pot with rasp and hoof knife. People in our area have a hard time getting farriers to come and trim mini's so I get called. Not that I mind I just don't give discounts for "smaller" horses because they are ALWAYS more work.  Hence why farriers don't come out for them.

If you remember the post about Arnicare gel that I use? The Boiron company that manufactures Arnicare gel  seen that post and sent me a tube of Arnicare. The best thing about Arnicare besides it's amazing anti inflammatory properties? Well it's a homeopathic medicine, meaning it has no artificial colours, perfumes or parabens in it.

The question is, what to do with this Arnicare gel? Well I didn't have to think twice, I'm going to give it away to a lucky reader!

Here are some arnica facts!

-   Arnica (Arnica montana ([Latin]), also commonly called mountain tobacco or leopard's bane, is a wildflower resembling a daisy that grows in the mountains of Europe and North America. Arnica is commonly used in topical herbal medicines to speed healing from bruises and other traumatic injuries. Arnica is thought to provide the body with pain relief as well as anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

-   Arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones, substances that are known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Arnica prevents bruising by keeping stimulating the white blood cells to disperse trapped blood and fluid from the site of injury. Arnica’s effectiveness as a treatment for bruising, sports injuries, and inflammation is well established and many commercial creams used for treatment of pain, bruising, and swelling contain arnica as an active ingredient. Arnica creams are also used to treat pain and inflammation resulting from carpel tunnel syndrome and arthritis.

-   Arnica can also be used externally to treat tired, overstressed muscles. One study performed in Norway showed that marathon runners who applied arnica to their skin before the event experienced less pain and stiffness afterward. Arnica is a relaxing addition to the bath, and has been shown to be particularly helpful for soaking tired, aching feet. 

I can vouch for how well this works. Wile just last night I had my foot stomped on by a mare. I picked her foot up to put it on the stand and she stiff-legged and STOMPED as hard as she could on the top of my foot and just kept her hoof there until I squalled and gave her a what-for. Rubbed Arnica on it and voila, no bruise. My back was also a bit stiff this morning from fighting a mare with arthritic hocks last night and as soon as I rubbed arnica on it not 15 minutes later it had loosened up. Great stuff. 

The only bad thing I found about this stuff? Well the gel has alcohol/the gel/not sure? in it. I had some on me once and spent the day in the sun and it burnt me. I don't burn easily and it was in the area I rubbed it on and nowhere else. Just cover it up I guess.

So what do you have to do to receive this amazing homeopathic remedy? Well I'll tell you. 

1. You must be a follower of this blog.

2. Post here in a comment with either a story (with pics? Please if you have them) or a link to your story of a bad bruise, bump, break, crack, tumble or otherwise unplanned bodily meeting with a substance harder than yourself

3. Tell your friends! If you have a blog I would love to see a mention of this contest and how wonderful Arnica is. I love this stuff, I am sure you will too!

This contest will end next weekend! Get telling those bruise stories and please, no intentional bruising for the purpose of this contest hehe!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How do you feed your horse? Please help me out.

Just a survey of sorts to help with another blog post. I would be very grateful if you guys could vote on the poll. If your answers are not up there I would LOVE comments!!

"omnomnomnom, belly deep grass"

How often are your horses fed hay in summer? free polls 

How often do you feed grain/mineral supplement in the summer? free polls 

How do your horses get water? free polls 

What is your biggest feeding fear free polls 

I really appreciate your input. Thanks! Please feel free to comment I would love to hear how you feed your horses.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pants + Pepe = ?

Maverick said my ass couldn't fit in his pants.

I think this proves him wrong. 

Doesn't my ass look cute in these pants?

Sorry Pokey, Pepe wears the pants. ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'll always have this in my first aid kit

If you haven't used Arnica or don't believe all us believers claims here's a photo to make you a believer.

This is a foot. If you notice the toes and side below the metatarsal area which you can't see well, is purple and bruised.

This was one day after it happened. It was sore but not unmanageable.
The injury was not shoeing related. Rocky had a bit of a meltdown about little Moose being haltered by me. Maverick was holding her when we should have tied her and she stepped on his foot and spun. I rubbed arnica on the metatarsal area. He had steel toed boots on and his toes didn't even get stepped on, the bruising is secondary. You can see the circular place where I rubbed Arnica and missed his toes, not even thinking they would bruise. Now four days later the bruising is completely gone thanks to this amazing product!

I've always used the gel. I find it absorbs better and doesn't leave a residue, heat or cooling sensation. The pain or swelling is just magically gone it seems. I've used it on horses, dogs and cats before too. It's something I have in both my tack box and the medicine cabinet. The best thing about Arnica is it comes from the plant, Arnica Montana, making it a natural product. Over here in the USA I seem to find it at walgreens consistently. So who has tried Arnica? Does anyone have any really neat bruising/swelling stories like this one? Please do share!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lookie what I found!!

So here's the story. In December I trained a young mare for a friend and she gave me this paint mare, Rocky.

I know, Sydney, disliker of paint horses has a paint horse. Shes papered and pretty darned sensible minus one incident after first getting off the trailer where she drug Maverick, his father and his "big boy" brother in law on the end of a 40 foot rope at the same time and was gaining speed at a gallop. After a few "come to me Jesus" moments Rocky now leads and yields to pressure like a horse who's actually been haltered the previous 9 years of their life. She really didn't have a halter on until we got her let alone being caught, feet done etc. All of which she does well now. Shes one smart cookie.

Anyway I started to notice Rocky wasn't muscling up and thinning out like she should have been a couple months ago. Then she started bagging up a couple weeks ago. I knew what was ahead but she was sneaky and when I went out this morning I found this leggy little colt tottering around.

He promptly came right up to see me, hours old.

 (I look spaced out, I was talking to Maverick who was sitting on the footing of a beam in the barn)

He didn't have a name until a few seconds ago when "Moose" was suggested on facebook. Moose it is!!

Now to find what the heck Rocky was bred to before I owned her. Ugh!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What does every horse deserve in it's life?

Every horse deserves once in it's lifetime to be loved by a little girl.

Indigo is lucky enough to have a growing army.

Here is her latest victim of spotty horse love, Blondie.

Who loves your horse, other than yourself?
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