Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bryce Canyon

Feather and I are off to Bryce Canyon in Utah on Monday for a 5 day 250 mile endurance ride. I am not planning on doing all 5 days, maybe just 3 days. I hope to go and just enjoy the land and maybe go out for a few good rides. It is a long drive I know, but I am so looking forward to seeing this beautiful country. http://www.nps.gov/brca/

So, I will be unavailable - Monday the 25th to Thursday, Sept. 4....

Finalist - Extreme Mustang Makeover

Lucy and I were finalists in the Extreme Mustang Makeover. Actually, we were in second place going in to the Freestyle Finals, and I didn't have a very good freestyle class planned, so we ended up in fifth place. Other routines included leaf blowers, pedestals, bull whips, swimming intertubes, etc. We did the best we could considering this was the first time in an arena for her! Each yearling there was absolutely amazing - each one was so well gentled and trained. You could have ridden each horse there had they been 3 year olds. As a matter of fact, most horses carried a saddle or bareback pad in the finals, and a few yearlings were carrying children on their back throughout the weekend. Each yearling was wild 90 days ago, and they all looked like seasoned competitors there. I was blown away. We were scored on body condition, muscling/coat condition, manners, and then a trail course in hand. I hadn't practised trotting in hand with her head next to my shoulder, so we learned this the night before. SHe did fantastic in the trail course in hand, loaded in to the trailer like a champ, backed, and went over the trotting poles beautifully. We fudged the trotting of a serpentine in hand.... and fudged it again in the freestyle.... We'll work on that!

The only problem was, for the adoption, it was a silent auction and then a live auction to close the bids on the horses, and there were only 3 adopters!! The winners didn't even get adopted! Most trainers took home their horses, like me, but a lot of horses went back to Palomino Valley. That was so, so sad, especially for the youth whose parents wouldn't let them keep their horses. We all did this to help promote the mustangs and place them in good adoptive homes, already gentled, but there was no one that wanted these babies. What a shame. It must be the economy and the price of hay. I lucked out and got a beautiful, athletic filly out of the deal, but I didn't really need a 5th horse.

I have to thank all of my helpers at the show - my clients Kelly (who let me borrow her beautiful show clothes) and Tamara, my friend Leslie and her neighbors, and then my other friend Shannon who helped me groom Lucy and clipped her mane up beautifully! And Trina who let me borrow her hat and show shirt. Thank you THank you Thank yoU!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Epics v. Renegades

I had another question in email regarding Epics/Bares versus Renegades. This may be a topic I should avoid writing about, but I find myself going through this conversation every time I fit a horse for boots. So I thought I would write it up for your help in fitting boots.

It depends on the fit of the boots and the shape of the hoof. If a horse "needs" a pad (i.e. pathological hooves, laminitis, navicular, just out of shoes, bad thrush, etc.), then definitely go with the Epics/Bares. If the gaiter on the Epics/Bares rub, then go with the Renegades. For hind hooves, I recommend Epics or, preferably, Bares.

The Renegades are really easy to put on, for the casual trail rider or an arthritic person, I recommend the Renegades. The Renegades have great traction too, but they come in limited sizes, and I find are harder to fit on big-boned horses. I love them for Arabians for sure! They seem to fit perfectly every time. I struggle with the fit on bigger boned horses, or horses with pathological, flared hooves.

Any horse that is sensitive and prone to rubbing, go with the Renegades.

Also depends on mileage. The Renegades last about 500 miles and the Epics will go about 1000 miles or more.

Your horse will tell you. Many people own both the Renegades and Epics/Bares and switch them out. Both the horses and riders have a preference, but it is usually based on fit - which boot fits the best will affect the way your horse moves.

You have to put them on correctly as well. This is very important for any boot!!!

Best to work with an experience boot fitter to identify what boot is best for your horse and how to install the boot properly. Their experience is worth it because you will save a lot of time, money, and energy on fitting boots.

Just my experience .... what do I do for my own personal horses? I own both for each horse and it just depends what I am doing and where I am going. I have success with both brands. However, I do have 2 gaiter challenged horses that if I want to use Epics/Bares, I have to wrap them with duct tape or use a sock, and that leads to more labor, so I typically stick with the Renegades on those two sensitives girls.

Proper Horse Nutrition

Pete Ramey has posted a new article on Equine Nutrition and how it affects the hoof. http://www.hoofrehab.com/diet.htm

After reading it, if you are wondering where to test your hay, go here to EquiAnalytical. Also, Dr. Kellon's Web Site is: www.drkellon.com . I am going to sign up for this online equine nutrition course, it sounds amazing.

Sally Hugg, a trimmer in the Orroville, CA area (Northern CA) has done a lot of testing of hay in Northern CA. They all come back with similar profiles - we are deficient in Selenium, Copper, and Zinc. She has created a custom mineral blend for horses in Northern CA called CA Trace Plus. I always carry bags of these minerals in the car with me. I also suggest adding a teaspoon of salt and CocaSoya Oil from Uckele (this provides Omega 3, 6, 9 and Vitamin E). This works well mixed into Beet Pulp (no molasses), Timothy Pellets, or the Parelli Grain Mix (Barley 30%, Oats 30%, Wheat Bran 30%, Sunflower Seeds 10%)

Definitely take the time to read Pete Ramey's article - it will really help you sort through labels and what your horse needs. Even though you may be feeding a multivitamin, your horse may still be deficient in some minerals and getting too much of other minerals.

Lake Play with the Mustangs

When it is warm in the afternoon, I like to take the horses up to Greenwood lake, which is about a half mile from my house. The girls love to swim, roll, and paw in the water. Here is a photo of Feather rolling - I was on her bareback and was in the process of jumping back on her in this shot. For a gallery of photos of water play - go here.

Harvest Time

We are harvesting a bunch of veggies from our garden... corn, carrots, squash, kale, watermelon. I like being a vegetarian and eating what we grew in our garden. Very tasty! For lunch we had butternut squash and tomato soup with sage and quinoa... and for dinner we are having eggplant hummus. To supplement what we grow in the garden, we also get a box each week from the Capay Valley Farm with fresh organic fruits and veggies.