Monthly Archives: April 2012

Just for Grins – Miniature horse trailer loading

Dan James and Dan Steers of “Double Dans Horsemanship” make demonstrating their horsemanship entertaining and fun. This video from Equitana Australia 2011 is a short comedy act loading a Miniature horse into a small trailer with an amusing method. In Australia they call a horse trailer a “float”.

Miniature horse trailer loading

Video length: 31 seconds
Uploaded by  on Nov 14, 2011

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Health progress: First quarter 2012

Spring has arrived

Bluebonnet with Honeybee hovering by Texas Eagle on Flickr

by Texas Eagle on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

We are into the 2nd quarter of 2012. How have I done so far this year?

A major goal in my health progress was improving my balance. I practice some everyday. I can even practice when standing in line at the grocery store. Overall my balance is much improved. This adds to my confidence for riding again.

I have been working nearly daily on my yoga  “Hero Pose” since early January. When I had kneeled and sat back into the pose my right knee, shin and ankle were so stiff that my right buttock was 4 inches above my heels.  Working on this pose has definitely helped stretch and strengthen my weak right knee. I can now kneel and sit back to rest both my left and right buttocks onto my heels. This position is called “Thunderbolt Pose” or  Vajrasana (Vajra = thunderbolt, Asana = pose). Maybe in another few months I will be able to do a proper Virasana pose (Hero Pose) with my buttocks on the floor between my legs.

My stamina and aerobic fitness is improving in the last month. This is mostly thanks to needing to mow our yard with a push mower. The self-propel aspect of the mower only mocks me by spinning one front wheel if the wheel is held up in the air. Starting and then pushing the non-self-propel mower works all sorts of muscles and makes for excellent interval training. When my heart beats too hard, I just stop the mower and walk off leaving the mower standing in the yard. This has prompted a couple of neighbors to come over to visit probably wondering about this somewhat odd behavior, if they can catch me before I head inside to sit in front of a fan.

Easter Eggs in grass by Mr. Juicebox on Flickr

by Mr. Juicebox on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Twistur has had sore feet from Spring grass. Exercise is a recommended component to improving his health. I came up with a game to get in some jogging around the backyard for me and the horses. During an after Easter sale I bought a bunch of colored plastic eggs that were a penny apiece. I put them in the yard and then jog / walk from one to the other. Jogging between them as a minor goal makes the effort seem easier. I know that I just need to jog from Egg A to Egg B, then can rest. This is also a good game for the horses because they get a treat when we arrive at a goal egg. I can also jog around the eggs in circles or lay out a serpentine pattern. This makes things a bit more interesting and 10 minutes of trotting around the backyard goes fairly quickly. Twistur thinks it is great fun and enjoys trotting back and forth to get some treats. He shakes his head and has even been somewhat rambunctious. Haven’t tried it with Bangsi yet. Bangsi is more lazy, so might need a bit of encouragement to trot up with me.

Friday late afternoon we took a short trailer ride to a local trail parking at an area that unloads onto sand. We picked a trail path with few rocks. Twistur was eager to walk out fast on the sandy trail, but was ouchy over sandstone rocks. We met two curious Miniature donkeys through a fence. We enjoyed relaxing  watching the sun head down while the donkeys and horses grazed. Once I get new hoof boots, then can start taking Twistur out with me again for hike / ride combos.

I’m eating a lot more fruit after read that the new Weight Watchers doesn’t count them towards the Points. I haven’t joined any program and not really doing any “counting”. The mowing exercise is probably the main reason for any weight loss. I’d gained 5 pounds past my former max weight, but have lost that extra bonus and down to just my former maximum. Now… if I can avoid temptations and keep doing what is working.

I’m not all good. 😉 My sweet tooth encouraged me to buy a 6 inch solid chocolate Easter rabbit on that 75% off post-Easter sale. I got one for my hubby too, so we could be naughty together.

Delicious chocolate bunny ears. 

Chocolate rabbits

by SinoSplice on Flickr (Creative Commons License)


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Exercises to improve balance Level 6

These are exercises that I am using to improve my balance. I practice several times a day. The goal of the exercises is to improve my overall body proprioception and balance, as well as strength in my legs. Balancing will also improve core body strength.

The exercises increase in difficulty as balance improves. Hold onto something if necessary to maintain balance. I have used holding onto a chair, touching a wall, holding onto a low hanging tree branch, touching my foot on a step, and holding a broom handle.

With my eyes closed I am still mostly working on Level 1 and 2, but raising my leg higher.  With my eyes open I am working on improving at Level 3 and 4 and adding in more time at Level 5 exercises.

I am ready to begin adding in some Level 6 exercises.

Level 6: Stand on a soft surface like a foam pillow or balance cushion with both feet starting with exercises from Level 1.

– Keep practicing and advancing in difficulty repeating all the levels till you are standing on one foot with your eyes closed and able to move your foot in all directions.

* Please read my disclaimer.

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Hoof boots – Tread

Twistur has had Spring grass induced ‘sore foot’ episodes. Last year we got him a pair of Cavallo Simple Hoof Boots Size 1, which were intended as a therapy boot. They can be a therapeutic, as well as a protective boot. As advertised, they are easy to get on and off for the horse and the human. After he appeared normal we took him out on various walks and some rides with the boots. He didn’t particularly like wearing them. He seemed to tromp along and had a few stumbles. If his mind wasn’t busy and just standing, then he would cross his front legs and rub the boots or bite at them trying to scratch. He might prefer a hoof boot that doesn’t go up onto the pastern. I think they would just take a little getting used to for him.

He was definitely more comfortable on rocks wearing the hoof boots. If it is a trade-off between comfort on rocks vs itching or clomping, then definitely wearing them is worth it. Two of the nearby trail heads have large white granite rocks. He didn’t want to back out of the trailer and went sideways to stand on the ramp to avoid the rocks. I put on the hoof boots prior to loading next time, so he could have them on when he backed out. The hoof boots definitely helped him with standing on and travelling over rocks.

This Spring the hoof boots wouldn’t go on Twistur anymore. We need to go up a size. The hoof boots were too snug. After a trim they just squeezed on, if I made him stand to push them on. This is too tight. His front hooves are now more slightly oval in shape due to a longer toe. The difference is probably only 1/4 inch or so, but the fit was already on the snug side. The need for a new set of hoof boots has given me the chance to re-evaluate the options.

*** Update: November 10, 2012 – Twistur has grown out a flare on his front hooves that were no doubt from the laminitic episodes. The original hoof boots started fitting again. In between trims they are still getting snug, but I can get pre-set onto his hoof and his weight standing on the hoof boots pushes them on all the way. He is not clunking in the hoof boots and less tripping, which may indicate some of those issues were also from the laminitic feeling feet. We have been making several diet and management changes to try to resolve the laminitic episodes. There has been no evident hoof soreness in over a couple of months. We were still having some minor soreness during summer with weight shifting and not wanting to run around. He has been happy to move and no weight shifting. We are now getting out again wearing the hoof boots including rocks and concrete. Twistur hasn’t been tested with blood work, but he sure seems to have IR (insulin resistant syndrome). The Cavallo hoof boots continue to be a good choice for us. ***

During the last year Easyboot has come out with “The Trail”, which is similar in ease of putting on to the Cavallo hoof boots. It is recommended for “medium-distance riding of up to 25 miles per week (usually an average of 1 – 1 1/2 hours a day)”. Easycare says they are 20% lighter weight than the Simple Boot. The Easyboot Trail has the same tread as the Old Mac’s G2.

The Delta Hoof Boot looks like the same tread as the Cavallo Simple Boot, plus similar design overall. Turns out they are both made by Cavallo.

“Delta Horseshoes merged with the Mustad Group as of January 1, 2009 to become Delta/Mustad Hoofcare. They are now including the Delta Boot, developed and manufactured by Cavallo Horse and Rider Inc., in their range of hoofcare products. The Delta Boot will be offered in Delta/Mustad’s farrier supply channel throughout their worldwide distribution chain.” – Southwest Horse Trader July 23, 2009

I have been unsure about the treads on the hoof boots interfering with ‘gaiting’. The Icelandic tolt is a single foot racking gait. I’m not sure how much of a tread is really necessary or if too much tread could interfere with movement. I have been unable to find weights listed for the various boots. The weight of a hoof boot could affect the gait.

A couple of the hoof boots have an option to add studs for snow / ice, such as the Marquis and Renegades. This isn’t a concern where we live.

If you use hoof boots, then what type do you use or recommend? Pros / Cons? How does the traction of the tread affect your horse? Please leave a comment with your experience or opinion.

I couldn’t find a single place that showed the various treads of the horse hoof boots, so have put together this gallery. Clicking on a photo will open up a new tab for the website of the hoof boot.

Gallery of bottom of Hoof Boots showing Tread

Bottom of Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot

Cavallo Simple

Bottom of Delta Hoof Boot


Bottom of Cavallo Sport Hoof Boot

Cavallo Sport

Bottom of Easyboot Trail Hoof Boot

Easyboot Trail

Bottom of Old Mac's Hoof Boot

Old Mac

Bottom of Old Mac's G2 Hoof Boot

Old Mac's G2

Bottom of Easyboot Epic Hoof Boot

Easyboot Epic

Bottom of Easyboot Bare Hoof Boot

Easyboot Bare

Bottom of Easyboot Glove Hoof Boot

Easyboot Glove

Bottom of Easyboot Edge Hoof Boot

Easyboot Edge

Bottom of Easyboot Grip Hoof Boot

Easyboot Grip

Bottom of Renegade Hoof Boot


Bottom of Boa Hoof Boot


Bottom of Marquis Hoof Boot


Bottom of Hoofwing Hoof Boot


Bottom of Swiss Horse Boot

Swiss Horse Boot

Bottom of Equine Jogging Shoe

Equine Jogging Shoe

Bottom of Horse Mocs Hoof Boots

Horse Mocs


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Forest Boyz – Friesians in the Mist

The Forest Boyz are three Friesian stallions who live, work and play together in the forest of the Northern California coast. Meike (Feike x Leffert – 2004) & Menno (Feike x Sjaard – 2004) & Saphire (Rintse x Yk – 2005) are the best of friends. Laura Zugzda has gorgeous photographic prints and video of the Forest Boyz available.

The Forest Boyz – Friesians in the mist

Video length: 3 minutes 14 seconds
Uploaded by  on Nov 22, 2007
Music: “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams

I love watching “The Forest Boyz”, so will post more videos in future for Wednesday music feature.

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Just for Grins – Hiking with horse, cow, & donkeys

Agnes hiking with Iroy, her Haflinger horse, Cowy, her Highland cow, and her two donkeys through valleys and forest near her home in France. Iroy is loose, as is one donkey. Sometimes Cowy is also loose. They all follow Agnes.

I wasn’t sure if this video should be a Wednesday music video due to the dramatic music or a “Just for Grins” Sunday video. A donkey at the end of the video makes a statement for Sunday smiles. What do you think? Did I make a right choice? Hope you enjoy it was much as I do.

Video length: 2 minutes 40 seconds
Music: “Ameno” by the French group, Era, a New Age music project by the French composer Eric Lévi. They use pseudo-Greek and pseudo-Latin lyrics (by Guy Protheroe) deliberately devoid of any exact meaning. Group “Era” website in French.
Uploaded by  on Jun 19, 2011

Learn about Highland Cattle, like Cowy.
Learn about Haflinger horses, like Iroy.

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Let’s play – Parelli student playing with Arabian

Parelli students Ludovic Fournet and Fanny live in France. Fanny plays with her Arabian, Quatifa.

Video length: 4 minutes 53 seconds
Music: “Freight Train” written by Fred Eaglesmith sung by Chris Paulson. Chris Paulson is a singer/songwriter originally from the San Francisco Bay area. A modern day wandering minstrel, he’s spent the last 24 years on the road, performing throughout Europe, in Morroco, South Africa, Australia, Brasil, California, New York, and Mexico.
Uploaded by  on Jan 19, 2012

Their blogs are ‘dedicated to horses and how to contact them to get a perfect, natural harmony and enter into communion ….’ (using Google translate). Original French: “dédié aux chevaux et à la façon de communiquer avec eux pour obtenir une harmonie parfaite et naturelle et entrer en communion….”

They have beautiful photography of their Arabians on their blogs.

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Just for Grins – Shire horse gallops on beach

Kameo — Shire Horse — Beach Gallop WIPEOUT

When a wave crashed into Kameo, both horse and rider tumbled.
We’re happy to report that both horse and rider were completely fine after the fall!

Video length: 38 seconds
Uploaded by  on Aug 14, 2010

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Wyoming Quarter Horse

In 1983, Bill and Carole Smith started the WYO Quarter Horse Sale. Over the years, it has developed into the nation’s elite Quarter Horse Gelding Sales. There are now two sales held each year in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Video of Hickorys Buck Lot 34, a 2003 buckskin Quarter horse gelding, ridden in an arena and out on the beautiful Wyoming trails with background music uploaded on 04/24/2011 is no longer on Youtube.

Have replaced with a 2013 video of another QH ridden at their ranch. There is no music.

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Just for Grins – Horse rolling

“Indy and I were supposed to do a little riding, but first was my plan to let her run a little bit at liberty because of her energy. But Indy decides that it’s time to do a roll…. with my barebackpad on…. And again…..”

Horse rolling

Video length: 1 minute 22 seconds
Uploaded by  on Mar 18, 2012
Joyce de Vos (Fox) lives in Nijeveen (Drenthe), The Netherlands. She draws on many different training methods and calls her style “Inspirational Horsemanship” that is “a process whereby you are inspired by everything and everyone around you”.

* Original in Dutch: “Inspirational Horsemanship staat dus niet voor één bepaalde trainingsmethode, maar een werkwijze waarbij je inspiratie haalt uit alles en iedereen om je heen.”

More about the horse, Indy.

* Using automatic website Google language translation on Chrome browser
How you can get Chrome:

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