Pardon to my imaginary fans

Real life with my horses takes precedence over my blogging hobby. My Wednesday Music video of Maari, the bored Icelandic mare, will serve double purpose and also count towards the Sunday “Just for Grins” this week. Pardon to my disappointed imaginary fans.

Twistur cut his right lower eyelid this week. Probably was late on Thurdsay, but I didn’t fully notice until late on Friday when the eye was showing some inflammation. Thankfully the eye was fine and the lid wasn’t a bad cut. Cannot figure out where this happened, but am really looking and feeling around places he might have rubbed. Twistur was into the vet clinic on Saturday. The vet and assistant prepped the eyelid and put in two sutures to hold the skin together. Prescribed some Bute and antibiotic eye drops. The sutures will be removed in about 10 days. I will write up about our experience in an upcoming post to add to the on-line anecdotal knowledge base on such incidents.

Our two hottest months of the year are underway and Twistur’s hair is longer than necessary. Today is overcast with a bit of a breeze, so it is a perfect day to bathe and clip Twistur.

Hope everyone is having a great day.

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Amusing a bored horse

The intelligent Maari, an Icelandic mare, can get a bit bored when her friendly human can’t come out to play. A large cardboard box taped closed with a few hay cubes inside makes a great puzzle for a bored horse. The other little horse is Toseland, who has a nice roll.

Maari, the Icelandic mare, peers into the window.

Come out and play with me

Video length: 3 minutes 2 seconds
Music: “If I Had a Boat” sung by Lyle Lovett, an American singer-songwriter and actor.
Uploaded by  on Sep 26, 2010

The window Maari is peering in is an artist studio. Aud Fischer of Creek Valley Critters is a wonderful artist and sculptor. Her Youtube channel is delightful. She uses clicker training methods and hand rears baby mice.

Have a great Wednesday!

Lyrics

If I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

If I were Roy Rogers
I’d sure enough be single
I couldn’t bring myself to marrying old Dale
It’d just be me and trigger
We’d go riding through them movies
Then we’d buy a boat and on the sea we’d sail

And if I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

The mystery masked man was smart
He got himself a Tonto
‘Cause Tonto did the dirty work for free
But Tonto he was smarter
And one day said kemo sabe
Kiss my ass I bought a boat
I’m going out to sea

And if I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

And if I were like lightning
I wouldn’t need no sneakers
I’d come and go wherever I would please
And I’d scare ’em by the shade tree
And I’d scare ’em by the light pole
But I would not scare my pony on my boat out on the sea

And if I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

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Just for Grins – Friesian filly playing in a water trough

Luna, the Friesian filly, has fun playing in a water trough and gets an unexpected surprise. Luna comes from Herman Hills Farm in Ohio and now lives with Katie and family in MN.

Friesian filly splashing in water trough.

This is so much fun!

Friesian filly splashing in water trough.

Great times!

Do you think the water trough is a bit too close to the electric fence?

Video length: 1 minute 9 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jul 19, 2009

Friesian filly gets a surprise and jumps.

Zing

Friesian filly wonders what just happened - staring back.

What the …?

Katie Kelley’s photography website in Mankato, MN
(Warning: Site opens with auto play music)

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America’s wild horse bridleless – Happy July 4th

 An Act Of Congress
“Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; (and) that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people …”
(Public Law 92-195, December 15, 1971)

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a USA federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776. What better way than celebrating with America’s wild horse, the Mustang, a symbol of freedom, the American flag and the American anthem combined.

Sadie, the BLM Mustang, ridden in just a cordero (bridleless).

Sadie, BLM Mustang

The rider is Marietta Roby. The horse is Sadie, a BLM Mustang. Sadie was rescued after being abused by a prior adopter. She was angry and aggressive. She and Marietta have been partners since 2004, since Sadie was about 4.

Home of Marietta Roby and Sadi: Bentwire Ranch
Event held at Pony Pros.

Uploaded by  on Feb 7, 2010
Music: “Star Spangled Banner” – United States of America national anthem – by Francis Scott Key.  Singer is LeAnn Rimeswebsite.
Video length: 2 minutes 10 seconds

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The BLM rounds up horses and burros periodically to manage land resources, then offers them for adoption under strict rules to qualified individuals. After properly caring for an animal for one year, the adopter is eligible to receive title, or ownership, from the Federal government.  The BLM has placed more than 225,000 wild horses and burros into private ownership since 1971.

There is  still a great need to get the word out that Mustangs can make excellent companion riding horses. Even older Mustangs can be trained, if given a chance through adoption. In 2007 the Extreme Mustang Makeover events began. The Mustang Heritage Foundation has facilitated the adoptions of more than 3,300 gentled American Mustangs.

Learn how to adopt a wild Mustang.

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Train a parade horse

Have you wanted to take your horses in a parade, but you aren’t sure if they are ready? Will your reliable trail horse freak out by the commotion of a parade?

Icelandic horse ridden in July 4th parade

Bangsi only got worried at the very start of the parade.

How does a horse prepare for being ridden in a parade? How do you train a parade horse?

Start by letting your horses watch a parade. Let them watch safely on the sidelines, just like humans get to do. Pick a small town parade before you go to a major parade. Choose one that has an easy way to duck out, if your horse becomes overwhelmed. Try to find a parade that is horse friendly. There are parades that cater to horses, which are excellent as a first parade to lead or ride in.

Horse watching parade pass by with float of capping the 2010 BP oil spill.

Twistur watching the parade.

The wait for the start of the parade in the staging area can be tiring and chaotic. Take your horse to participate in a staging area, even if not actually being in the parade.

Even in a small parade you may experience loud sirens, blaring lights, balloons, whistles, bicycles, strollers,  electric wheelchairs, motorcycles, streamers, barking dogs, other horses or mini-donkeys, ATVs, clowns, kids running around, marching bands, truck air brakes, blowing objects of all sorts, frisbee thrown overhead, balls, loud speaker feedback, revving engines, horns, flags, waving, firecrackers, yelling, squeaks, car back firing, and candy tossed from passing floats. If you can think of something crazy happening, then you might see it at a large parade. Be prepared to walk on asphalt with potholes, crunching candy wrappers under foot and items blowing across the road. Check out the route before taking your horse.

Can your horse walk slowly and stand quietly amidst noise and excitement? The pace of a parade may be uneven with lots of time standing waiting, then just as suddenly needing to speed up. Practice at home with your horse with various spooky objects. Let them know that they can stand quietly and watch and listen to craziness.

Walking with our horse in local town Independence Day parade.

Why not walk in a parade? It is fun too!

Even if you plan to just lead your horse, make sure you have good control of your horse on the ground. If they are ready, then after letting them watch a passing parade try walking them in a parade as a groundwork training exercise.  It’s fun to walk in a parade too, so if you aren’t sure if you want to ride then you can lead instead. Later you can try riding in a parade, then maybe an even bigger parade another time.

We use clicker training with de-spooking. This works well for us and our horses.

A parade can make great de-spooking practice, but you can start small and build up to riding in the  Rose Bowl.

Be safe and wear your helmet!

Take A Horse in a Parade Safely

Parade Horse Training Tips

Preparing to Ride in a Parade

Excellent suggestions for preparing and riding in a parade.

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Just for Grins – Grumpy horse as chicken steals feed

A grumpy horse has a pesky hen moving in on his/her bucket of feed. I had to laugh at this inter-species interaction.

The horse warns the chicken to back off using equine lingo. The horse lays his ears back and snakes his head out towards the encroaching hen. The chicken takes no notice of the horse-speak warnings. The horse ups the ante with a threat the chicken can understand. The chicken dodges and the horse feed goes flying.

A UK horse puts ears back to warn off the hen stealing feed from his bucket. By Pippa2shoes on Youtube.

Hey chicken, this is MY food.

UK horse warns chicken from stealing his oats by stamping his hoof knocking feed everywhere. By Pippa2shoes on Youtube.

I said… “Get off my food!”

Video length: 1 minute 11 seconds
Uploaded by on Sep 16, 2010
Country: United Kingdom

Horse eats feed off ground by chicken. By Pippa2shoes on Youtube.

Unintended consequences works out for the chicken.

Another horse moves in to eat the feed off the ground.

Until another interloper moves in.

The video shows the hen being escorted out of the horse paddock by the 3rd species (human) of the story.

======================================================

Horses and free-range chickens are frequently run together with neither bothering the other.  A chicken and horse can even become bonded companions.

Chickens will pick up dropped feed off the ground and help to scatter the horse manure piles to dry them out and make fewer flies.

Keeping Hens and Horses
http://www.horsefeedblog.com/2012/05/keeping-hens-and-horses/

Keeping Hens on the Homestead
http://lizzylanefarm.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/keeping-chickens-on-the-homestead/

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Just for Grins – “It must be the water”

It Must Be The Water. Vittel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys standing by horses at starting gate

The clever and funny TV commercial advertisement titled ‘Horse Riding’ was done by Ogilvy & Mather Paris advertising agency for Vittel Water in France. It was released in December 2009. Race horses love to run, but what horse might not like to take it easy once in awhile. Jockeys drink some Vittel water before the race and horse racing takes on a whole different method.

Vittel is a French brand of bottled water sold in many countries. Since 1992 it has been owned by Nestlé Waters, Water Division of the Swiss group Nestlé.

The Vosges basin in France is home to several sources of natural mineral water. The city of Vittel , thanks to the virtues of its natural mineral water, is also a city of thermal baths. Louis Bouloumié in 1855 created a health spa in the city of Vittel, then later the natural mineral water was bottled.  It belonged to the founding family, the Bouloumié, for four generations.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys preparing for race with horses on their backs

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs to race


Video length: 32 seconds
“Pub Vittel: la course hippique” – Horse race
Uploaded by  on Sep 7, 2009

There are a series of “It Must Be the Water” ads, which are all very funny. They are on the same Youtube channel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs for race come to finish line

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockey of brown horse is the winner

Vittel Water advertisement: Proud jockey with flowers around his neck holds his racing trophy of a "man carrying horse"

A longer version of the advertisement at these 2 sites:
Video length: 1:00 minute
Autoplay site: http://www.funnyplace.org/stream/vittel-race-13602/
Non-autoplay site: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/tv/vittel_horse_riding

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, France
Copywriters: Christian Foulon,, Fergus O’hare, Andrew Jolliffe
Art directors: Stephanie Surer, Ginevra Capece
Director: Lionel Goldstein
Production: Henry de Czar, Paris
Post-production company: Nozon
Editor: Manu Van Hove Agency
Producer: Caroline Petruccelli
Executive Producer: Jeanluc Bergeron
Director of Photography: Glynn Speeckaert
Sound Design: Kouz Production

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Clipping Icelandic horses in Spring

Icelandics in Texas ==> Clipping Icelandic horses

My Icelandic horses in early March started shedding their long winter coats amidst the singing birds and blooming flowers heralding the coming of Spring in north Texas. Icelandic horses winter coats were not intended for our mild winters. Their winter coat was between 2 – 4 inches long. Slow natural shedding could take over a month. Using shedding tools speeds up the process, but clipping is the fastest way to remove the excess hair.

Every horse clipping explanation that I have read says to use a #10 blade for a body clip. This cuts the hair at 1/16 inch or 1.6 mm. The face, ears, and legs may be clipped even shorter. Dogs, on the other hand, are clipped at varying lengths depending on breed and fashion. There are many blade lengths available for clippers. The #T84 blade (3/32 inch, 2.4 mm) is an extra wide blade commonly used to clip horses.

Andis clipper blades

Spring rains and warmer temperatures bring out the mosquitoes. A female mosquito bites through the skin using a special straw-like proboscis to get blood. They need the blood to be able to make their mosquito eggs. The bite is nearly undetectable, but the after effects can cause an immune response raising welts with itching. Bangsi is particularly sensitive to insect bites.

Besides the irritation that can cause severe scratching, mosquitoes are vectors for several illnesses. Texas horses can be vaccinated against Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis, plus the West Nile virus that also affects humans.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are common in north Texas.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito by Sean McCann on Flickr (Creative Commons)

The horses longer winter hair was a definite help in avoiding mosquito bites on their body and even their lower legs. The mosquitoes could not easily penetrate and bite past the long hair. They would land and crawl around looking for a place to bite, but unable to find a spot. The only places the mosquitoes seemed to be able to bite were the face and sheath. The mosquitoes would line up around the eyes and along the cheek bones at dusk and dawn. I smeared those areas with SWAT repellant ointment. Letting horses have a place to stay inside at dusk and dawn, plus a fan to blow on them, can also help lower the bites.

How long is a mosquito proboscis?

Mosquitoes are slender and relatively small insects, usually measuring about 3–6 mm in length. Some species, however, can be as small as 2 mm while others may be as long as 19 mm. (1)

“most of the commonest mosquitoes have the proboscis 0.1 – 0.14 inches (2.5-3.5 mm) long and half or even 2/3 of it is usually inserted in victim’s body” (2)

Small mosquitoes have a proboscis up to 2 millimeters long; in medium-sized mosquitoes the proboscis is 2-3 mm; in large mosquitoes it is greater than 3 mm. (3)

Clipping with a #10 blade (1/16 inch) could leave them more vulnerable to mosquito bites. The difference in hair length to be slightly cooler wouldn’t be enough benefit, particularly so early in the Spring. The #10 blade length is shorter than their natural summer coat.

The ideal clip length would balance cutting their hair shorter to help them be cooler while leaving their hair long enough to lessen mosquitos bites. Last year I experimented using snap-on combs over #10 blade for different lengths of cut, but the combs left more streaks in their coat. A blade cuts more smoothly and evenly with less effort, but does require purchase of extra blades.

I clipped their coats at 1/4 inch (6.3 mm) using a #5FC blade. The #5FC is an even clip while the #5 blade has a skip tooth cutting edge.

Andis A-5 #10 clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5FC clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5 clipper blade

The 1/4 inch clip length would be longer than a mosquito proboscis, which would lessen the likelihood of a Texas mosquito penetrating through their hair to their skin. The extra hair length would also provide them a bit more protection in case of an unusual cold snap or cold wet rain while still helping make them more comfortable and cooler in the warming weather. The longer length would make a blanket unnecessary in our Texas climate for our Icelandic horses, even with a Spring cold snap. I only clipped above the knee leaving their longer hair on the cannon bones to shed out naturally for extended mosquito protection.

Bangsi needed no further clipping later in the Spring to finish shedding his coat. I clipped Twistur again in late March using the #5 blade for most of his body, but used a #10 on his neck, chest, and around his head. He really enjoyed having the hair trimmed off shorter on his head and under his mane. Twistur’s coat re-grows and is a different thickness and texture than Bangsi’s. This maybe a symptom of some insulin resistance.

Next year I may clip them heading into winter to more closely mimic the coat length of a typical Texas Quarter horse in our area. Their 4 inch hair is too long for our winters, though I do love their fuzzy unique look.

A-5 Clipper Blade Inch Millimeter
#40 1/100 0.25
#50 1/125 0.2
#30 1/5 0.5
#15 3/64 1.2
#10 1/16 1.5
#9 5/64 2.0
Blocking blade 5/64 2.0
T84 3/32 2.4
#8.5 7/64 2.8
#7 1/8 3.2
T24 4.0
#6 3/16 4.8
#5 1/4 6.3
#4 3/8 9.5
#3 1/2 13.0

References:
– 1 inch = 25 mm

– “A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects” – Mosquito: Agrilife Extension: Entymology, Texas A&M System

– Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Division of Vector Borne Disease, West Nile Virus

– “Mosquitoes and the Diseases They Transmit“, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System

(1) “Introduction to mosquitoes (Culicidae)” by Cambridge University Press 052154775X – Medical Entomology for Students, Third Edition – Mike W. Service (Excerpt)

(2) Mosquito bite questions

(3) “The Determination of Mosquito Females by Microscopic Preparations of the Head” in “Mosquito Systematics” VOL. 6(4) 1974 by A. V. Gutsevich, Zoological Institute, Leningrad

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Liberty & bridleless (Alegria)

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo


PRE Spanish gelding, Contigo, working at liberty and bridleless with Delphine Boonkens. She does clinics and shows (spectacles équestres) in Europe with her horses and little dog.

Video length: 4 minutes 42 seconds
Music: “Alegria” by Cirque de Soleil
Uploaded by  on Oct 28, 2007

French language website: http://www.delphineboonkens.com/

Her former website with good photos of her horses:
http://spectacle-equestre.skynetblogs.be/

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

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Just for Grins – Horse loves his hammock

The dark colored Andalusian foal, Amoroso, hangs over a hammock and scratches himself.

Little Amoroso, an Andalusian foal, has seen humans in the hammock. Getting up there turned out to be too difficult, but maybe it can be used for scratching? The little horse loves his hammock.

Warning: Cuteness overload!

Video length: 3 minutes 3 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jun 14, 2010

http://www.ellenofstad.com/  (website in Norwegian Bokmål language)

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