Thursday, October 31, 2013

What I meant to post about yesterday (Chrome's haircut)!

On a happier note!  Yesterday before the scare with the maple leaves I gave Chrome the haircut I had been debating.  It's gone!  It's all gone!  I couldn't find my clippers (I hate moving), so I used scissors.  I know some of you are cringing, but I think it turned out alright.  Here are the pictures. Let me know what you think!  Oh and if you can't see his mane (or lack of) you can click the pictures to enlarge them.

Left side.

Right side.

 Head on.  The really cool thing, which I didn't notice until I cut it off, is that one side of his mane was black and the other side was white!  You can kind of see it in the above shot.  So cool!  Also I didn't cut his bridle path all the way because I love his thick forelock (it isn't actually thick, it's just appears to be because his mane hangs forward over his forelock).  That's why the halter is sitting on the long hair.  I might finish trimming the bridle path if it causes problems with his bridle.  :)

Hiding behind a tree so the girls can't see his nakedness.  Just kidding, he was eating the longer grass that got missed by the mower.  :)

His chest still seems narrow to me.  Will it widen anymore?  He's four and a half already.  Maybe he's just a narrow horse.

Donkey was harassing him.  So cute! 


At first (especially while cutting it off) I was a little unsure if I liked it, but after taking a hundred pictures (yeah aren't you glad I didn't post all of them??) and hanging out with him for four hours raking and burning maple leaves I really like it.  He looks a little naked, but I think it looks great!  I can't wait for it to grow into an adorable little Mohawk.  :D

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chrome is eating poisonous Red Maple leaves!!!!

I was taking pictures of Chrome because the fall colors are gorgeous!  Then I realized he was eating leaves.... from a red maple tree....  I'm so terrified he will get sick!  We put out a fresh bale of hay so that he will hopefully be too busy eating hay to eat leaves, but I don't know what to do.  I can't cut them down with leaves on them because they would be even more poisonous and I have no way to get all of the leaves picked up.  I don't have the materials to fence them off (there are six maples in the pasture fairly scattered apart) and I can't really afford to buy enough fencing to surround all of them.  Not to mention, look how close it is to the pond... I raked up as many of the leaves as I could and burned them, but look how many there still are to fall.....

I'm also confused because there have been horses on this property since 1991 and none of them have ever gotten sick or died... but I don't know if they ate the leaves.  What do I do?  I have no place to move him to.  Do I just keep tons of hay out and feed him beet pulp so that he stays so full of roughage that he doesn't want to eat them?  Continue to rake and burn them daily?  What about the stuff he's already eaten?

From what I've read it can take up to four days to shows signs of toxicity.  The signs are jaundice, lethargy, pale gums and dark urine.  There is no cure.  All the vet can do is give fluids and transfusions until the toxins pass and even that isn't always successful.  75% of horses who eat red maple leaves die.... even with immediate veterinarian treatment.  Also even if successfully treated most horses end up with laminitis too.

I feel like I'm going to puke.  Tell me I'm overreacting please.  I'm going to call the vet tomorrow and take the leaves to the extension office to professionally identify them.  Please pray that they are either not red maple or that he hasn't consumed enough to hurt him....

How is it I grew up on this property and always had horses and not a single one of them got sick when my pasture is covered in red maple and ragwort???  Over the course of twenty two years we've had eight horses, one donkey, several cows and tons of goats on this property, all of them lived here for at least a year, and none of them got sick... because of that fact my parents and husband think that there is nothing to worry about, but I can't help worrying.  I'm going to try to go to sleep.  Let me know if any of you have had any experience with maple trees.  Do your horses eat the leaves?  Have they gotten sick?

Edited to Add:  Okay I discussed it with my husband and explained to him that I was scared for Chrome's safety.  He suggested putting them in the round pen until the leaves have fallen and are no longer dangerous.  It shouldn't be any more than a month and some horses stand in stalls all year round.  I think being confined to a round pen is better than risking the danger of poisoning from the leaves.  Maybe I can get part of the pasture fenced off so he doesn't have to stay in there that long.  I'll just have to see, but for now I'm locking him up just to be on the safe side.  Please pray that the amount he has already consumed isn't enough to hurt him.  I'm optimistic that he hasn't eaten too many because there are still soooo many leaves on the trees and everything I've read says they have to eat several pounds worth of leaves to get sick.  Does anyone have any idea how many dry leaves it takes to make a pound?  I'll keep everyone posted.

Edited again to add:  Also while he's confined to the round pen I will be exercising him several times a day with hand walks on the roads and riding him around.  I will also probably turn him out in the pasture during the day, but only when I can supervise so I can chase him away from the maple trees.  Hopefully I realized all of this in time... or maybe they aren't poisonous...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What do you look for in a blog?

These pictures are all old ones.  Sorry!  Anyway I was reading a post on another blog that talked about the things that make a great blog (you can read it here ( and I thought I would share with you guys the top three things that I look for in a blog (and that makes me more likely to hit the follow button).  So here they are:

#1  Pictures!!!  As anyone who has read my blog for long knows, I rarely ever make a post without pictures (which is why I'm using old ones in this post).  One of the biggest draws for me to a blog is pictures.  I get bored very quickly with long  wordy posts (especially if there are no paragraph breaks) that don't have any pictures.  I also prefer that  the pictures were taken by the blogger (or the blogger's friend, trainer or significant other), rather than taken from somewhere on the internet.  I don't want to see pictures of random horses or things that don't even belong to the blogger.  I want to see the horse(s) that inspired the blog in the first place.  They don't even have to be good photos!  I'm an avid amateur photographer, but even  I sometimes post crappy quality photos because they are cute and tell a story.  :)  I also don't mind when photos are reused, especially if they are old ones from the beginning of the blog or are really good quality, so long as they are not the same ones used over and over and over again.

#2  Information.  This is another big one for me!  I love for a blog to have all of the information easily accessible.  In fact, often, if I can't find information quickly I will leave a blog without even reading a post.  I like to know the name, age, breed, gender and date aquired of the horse I'm reading about and it's so annoying to have to dig through hundreds of  posts (or have to ask) for that information.  Even if it's just a snippet in the sidebar with the basic info,  that's good for me.  Bonus if they have their own page!  Oh and if there are a lot of horses regularly mentioned on the blog I like to know the info on those horses too (especially whether or not they even belong to the blogger).  I know a lot of blogs that have been up for a long time and have had loyal readers the whole time that feel like everyone should already know all of this, but if you're new to the blog you can feel a little lost trying to figure out who is who and what is what.  :)  Especially if there are a lot of people and horses mentioned, without explaining who they are.

#3  A good layout.  This one isn't as important as the first too, but it does really help to make a blog appealing and easy to navigate.  I've been playing around with and designing websites since I was a little kid (although I am definitely NOT a professional and still have a lot to learn), so I like for a  blog to have a well planned, neat, pretty layout.  I know some people are new to website design, html, blog  layouts, etc. but a blog with all of the information and pictures in a long column at the very bottom of the page is a huge turn off for me.  Scrolling for an hour to find the information at the bottom just gets old after a while (I'm noticing a trend in my preferences that's making me feel lazy lol).  It's not hard to learn more about blog layouts with Google and Youtube.  Even the Blogger template designer is really easy to learn to use.

Having said all of that some of my favorite blogs have none of the things I listed!  So if your blog doesn't have these three things, don't worry, because I will probably still read it anyway.  As she stated in the blog post I linked above, it doesn't matter if the world (or little old me) doesn't like your blog, just blog because it makes you happy!

After looking at the things she listed I also realize there are things I could do to improve my blog.  The big one being reliable content!  I get into these long spells where I just don't know what to write about.  It makes me so sad when I look at my blog archive and realize I only posted three or four times a month over the summer because this blog is a way for me to remember things and how can I remember them if I don't post?  I need to get better about that!  If I can't think of something to write about or nothing has really been going on then I need to dig around a bit until I find something fun to post about.  I know I would probably have more readers and get more comments if I posted more often.  I will try to do better.

As for comedy.... I'm not sure if I have any comedy in my blog.  I have a very sarcastic sense of humor and sometimes I don't know if that comes across in my writing (which is why I tend to overuse LOL and hehe).  So maybe I can get some feedback on that one?  Am I funny guys?  No, not funny looking!  Okay I tried!

P.S.  Also another thing is grammar and spelling, although that's probably more like a pet peeve and it won't necessarily stop me from reading a blog.  Besides I'm not perfect (I overuse LOL and exclamation points and I am horrible about properly placing commas), so how can I hold that against anyone else?  Although I am a little OCD about spelling....  :D

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunshine Award

Andrea over at The Reeling (used to be The Uncatchable Number 257) nominated all of her readers for the Sunshine award!  

The Sunshine Award is for people who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate ten bloggers of her own, answer the ten questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to her blog.

Thank you Andrea for nominating me!  
  1. Mares or Geldings? Geldings!  I clash too much with most mares.  Or maybe I just haven't found the right mare.  :)  I do prefer the consistent temperaments of most geldings I've met over the mares I know.
  2. English or Western? Both.  I grew up riding western.  I never competed in anything, but spent hours and hours on the trails (and roads).  Ever since I was a little kid I had always wanted to learn dressage though, so when I hit the jackpot and got a job working at a dressage stable as a teenager I started taking lessons.  Now I like both!  Sadly I no longer own a western saddle or a dressage saddle anymore.  I do have a nice Aussie saddle though for trail riding and I'm saving up to get a dressage saddle now that Chrome is getting closer to being done growing. 
  3. Do you prefer “younger” or “older” horses? I like both.  I love riding well trained, older horses because you can just relax and enjoy the ride, but I also love training babies (which is why I got Chrome when he was five months old).  It's so much fun being involved in the training of a baby because you get to see all of their firsts.  First hoof trim, first time wearing a saddle, first lost baby tooth (cap), first ride, etc.  It's fun!  Besides babies grow up into "older" horses so they are the best of both worlds.  
  4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero? Yes.  My family bought a pregnant mare when I was a teenager and I helped train her filly (with dad's help) and I've also done all of Chrome's training (as mentioned above I got him at five months old, so he did already know how to halter, lead and stand tied) so far.  We've only cantered under saddle once, so I don't consider him "broke", but we're getting there. 
  5. Do you prefer riding or groundwork? Totally depends on the day.  :)  I like both. 
  6. Do you board your horse or keep it at home? At home!  I have never boarded a horse (and consider myself very lucky) and hope I never have to.  I love having them at home.  In fact my friends at the dressage stable want me to board him so we can ride together, but I just can't do it.  I can't imagine not being able to go outside at any time of day or night to give him a hug if I need one.  :) 
  7. Do you do all natural things or just commercial stuff?(in sense of products) I try to use all natural products, but sometimes it's impossible... anyone know of an all natural fly spray that actually works?  Heck, or even a chemical one that works?  I also like to keep my horses naturally, barefoot, outside 24/7, continual source of roughage available (we're making slow hay feeders as soon as I can find the stuff I need yay!), etc.
  8. All tacked up or bareback? Both! I love riding bareback when I'm feeling lazy or it's cold outside.  Nothing like a furry horse to help keep me warm lol.  Having a saddle is nice for long trail rides or for riding someplace new where extra security comes in handy for any spooky moments or for riding a horse I don't know well.    
  9. Equestrian role model? I'm totally stealing Andrea's answer for this, because I never know what to say....  "Anyone from any discipline that puts the horse first, and isn't in it for money or gain."
  10. What’s your one, main goal, while being in the horse world? My number one goal is to provide the best care for my horses as I can and for them to be as happy as I can make them.  :)  Also trying and learning new things!

So who is nominated?  It's really late and I have no idea who has received this award yet (and everyone will have soon the way these spread like wildfire through our horse blogging community), so I'm going to nominate everyone who reads my blog!  All of you who read and comment on my blog inspire me to keep blogging and to do the very best I can for Chrome every day!  You guys are awesome!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mane Attraction

Soooo... did anyone notice Chrome's mane in my last post?  You might have to click the image above to enlarge it.  The bare patch over his withers is actually on the left side and is only about an inch or two long.  The part sticking up in the middle is... well just that, sticking up in the middle.  It's about an inch long.  Then the part leading up to his poll is long.  Sigh!  It looks hideous!  Part of it was his sweet itch.  When he was scratching his shoulders he scratched his mane out too.  The part in the middle is from our stupid hay ring that was actually designed for cattle that we used when we went on vacation.  So, since he's rubbed it out so short in the middle I have two choices... roach or Mohawk.  What do you think?

......okay I just learned something.... roached is kind of like a Mohawk.....  I always thought roached was a completely shaved mane, but that's actually called hogged.  I had heard hogged before, but I thought it meant roached.  I didn't know there was a difference lol!!  So I have two options... roached or hogged?  Check out these pictures.

The three photos above are of Lady, my Appaloosa mare that I grew up with.  She has sweet itch like Chrome so she rubs her mane out too.  As you can see I kept it roached and trimmed it into a gorgeous arch.  It was cute!! 

Below are some random pictures from Google just to show how it looks on a bunch of different horses.  I do not own the pictures below!

I want this black horse above!  He is gorgeous!!

This one is completely hogged.  What a pretty gray horse!!

This one shows how a bit of mane can be left at the withers when hogging a mane, but Chrome's is so short at the withers anyway that I probably won't be able to.

As thin as Chrome's mane is I'm worried it will end up looking like this (below).....  LOL!

So what is your opinion?  Roach, hog, leave it alone?  It's just hair, so it will grow back if I don't like it.  I can't wait to hear what you guys think!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We went for a short walk! (Pictures and video of Chrome's fancy trot!)

Wow Blogger uploads picture waaaay lighter than they actually are.  The above picture on my computer is so dark it looks like a silhouette, but on blogger it's so light!  Odd!  Notice his oily haunches?  That's from the MTG I'm using to treat his rain rot, so ignore his oiliness in the rest of the pictures lol.

I took Chrome for a short walk down the road just before dark (okay my hubby was leading him so I could get pictures) because the neighbor was doing some work and I wanted to see how he would react to the bulldozer.

 He spends most of his walks with his head down and relaxed.  He had a major overstep (his hind hoof was stepping a whole hoof length in front of his front hoof!) today and was moving out so well!  I think he's missed his walks.

Then he started looking around.... but not at the bulldozer.  He didn't even look at the bulldozer.  He was staring at a couple of horses that were about a quarter mile across that pasture... silly colt!

Check out this short video of him walking and looking at the other horses and then at his fancy trot as he shows off...

Here is the direct link in case you can't see embedded videos:

He is so gorgeous!  I really need to stop encouraging him to show off for other horses though because that could make our trail rides... interesting.  :)  Here are some poor quality snapshots from the video of his all four off the ground trot for those of you who can't watch it.

I love this horse!  He can look so fancy when he wants to!

And here are the rest of the pictures.

In this one (above) my husband left the blue rope hanging off of Chrome's haunches so I could get a picture without someone in it.  Chrome is standing in the middle of a road, with one leg cocked, completely at ease with a bulldozer just yards away (see it in front of his chest and yes it was running, shoving dirt and rocks in a pile, which was loud!).  He's only interested in the other horses that are specks in the distance lol.  He couldn't care less about some dumb loud bulldozer.  :)

One armed hug from my hubby.  His expression is weird because he was talking lol.

Thanks everyone for the comments!  I've missed hearing from you guys and it feels nice to know we were missed a little.  :D  I'm slowly catching up on reading blogs and I'll try to start posting more.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rain Rot

All of these pictures are old ones.  I didn't want to post without pictures, but I don't have any new ones, so there you go lol.  The weather has cooled off and we're almost done building the house, so I'll have more free time soon.... I was going to ride Chrome today and discovered that he has rain rot.  :(  Sucks!  So I scrubbed him all over with MTG (and punched a hole in my glove which got nasty MTG all over my hands so now they smell like sulfur.... yuck!).  Hopefully it will clear up soon.  Send fungus free healing thoughts for my boy please.  I'm probably going to start hand walking him on the roads and longeing him again until the rain rot heals, then I'll start riding him on the property and then I'll try riding out on the roads again (wish we had real trails).  I'll let you know how it goes.  Reading my blog friends' posts about riding out alone has given me the courage to give it a shot.  I can't wait!

Isn't he handsome?  I can't wait to get some new pictures of him.  :)