and the rest is chaos

Free Choice Grain, Is It Possible? January 29, 2010

Filed under: HorseSense — nadinescloset @ 2:27 PM
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I strongly believe that horses can self regulate entirely if given the opportunity, however I’m not yet brave enough to allow free choice grain. I’ve heard success stories, it makes sense to me, but I need some input on this. Anyone know anything about trusting your horses with free grain?


dog finds girl.

Filed under: Girl — nadinescloset @ 3:24 AM
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I can’t kill the mice that are ruining my kitchen, even though they casually leave their droppings all over my clean dishes. Instead  I trap them humanely and very carefully rehome them, provided I  find a satisfactory venue. The real issue here is the unnecessary standards to which I hold the new mouse homes, as I very much want them to thrive. A good mouse drop off spot will provide him with his basic needs;  Food, water, heat, and other mice who don’t discriminate. Also, it must not have glue traps, and I need to be relatively sure it never will. I couldn’t live with myself.

It’s a totally unnatural level of sympathy for something that leaves a trail of feces on my counter four or five times a day. And if that’s kinda crazy then I am approaching certifiable, considering the lengths I go to rescue,  adopt and seek out animals who truly need me. My adoption list has featured hamster things, entire flocks of chickens, (including 8 or nine roosters), ducks, fish, cats, horses, etc. And so it might seem odd, but for years I never even thought of owning a dog- in fact I specifically wanted to not have a dog.

There is only ever one reason to snub an entire species,  when one cranky bastard snaps and ruins it for everybody. Well for me that cranky representative was a German Shepard. The poor guy had wrapped his line so tightly around a pole that he couldn’t move, so squeaky 8 year old me ran happily over to rescue him. He was stressed and scared, I was right in his face, and I got the teeth. It was bloody and I was painfully embarrassed for both of us. That experience immediately put at least five feet between me and every dog.

I wasn’t able to find any canine comfort until years later when my parents adopted a few Pembroke Welsh Corgis, which were the sweetest little things. They hadn’t an ounce of hostility, just a lot of big ideas. I could do that. Seeing me make contact with a dog must have been monumental because my husband jumped on the subject, apparently he had wanted a dog very badly. With a lot of fear I finally agreed, for his sake. Much discussion went on about which breeds are the most gentle, calm, and nonscary. We landed on the trusty Sheep Dog. My husband found a breeder and on Sunday we would choose a puppy. My heart wasn’t in it, but I decided to make this sacrifice for my guy.

Saturday, it needs no introduction, it’s a word that means great things. And Saturdays got an additional boost on this particular weekend, the cold February morning when I met my little Ezra. For some reason, on this day, my husband and I drove for an hour to have breakfast with my brother-in-law, spur of the moment. Just got up early and thought “You know what is really nice before breakfast? An hour of driving.” Who knows. When we arrived at his apartment building we stood outside and lit cigarettes, just waiting. Discussing our prospective sheep dog, wondering why breakfast wasn’t done, we took our places in time, allowing fate to steer the ship.

Perfectly on time, this little rocket puppy came out of nowhere and jumped in our arms. He wiggled his butt and licked our faces, and although he was very clearly a pitbull, I had no anxiety, no fear, just a case of cute overload! Eventually his person appeared, very surprised that he had run off like that. The woman didn’t waste any time telling us he was up for adoption, considering how smitten my husband and I were. It was Ez! He found us just in time, amazingly, and we took him home that day.

I was one %100 percent on board with this guy. Never a doubt about it, one of the happiest days of my life. And after learning Ezra’s story, the one where he was two months old, stray, starving,  and hopelessly ill, where he arrived at NYC Animal Control, then moved to a foster apartment, I’d say it wasn’t that bad for him either.

This little guy has a very important purpose to his life, and that has been to open doors for me, so I may open doors for other homeless dogs,  and he’s a pitbull! Can you believe it? I was lucky to get him at four months, but after knowing him I will do whatever I can to adopt lots of homeless pits down the road. I hope you do the same. First dog I ever really felt right around. And there are lots of adorable pitbull puppies that need adoption, so if you are on the fence about adopting a dog, no excuses! You can get an impressionable, sweet little pup! (Don’t forget  though, the adults are just as homeless, and they have wigglebutts too.)


Self Regulating Equine January 28, 2010

Filed under: HorseSense — nadinescloset @ 7:05 PM
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People will never run out of things to sell horse people.  This includes the professionals who so many of us trust.  Sadly, in so many cases, common sense shines not into deep pockets. If  your horse needs endless checkups, various injections, and God help you “experimental treatments”, you might ask yourself, “What was the problem again?”  Chances are you never got anything more than a vague glance, crossed arms, and a complicated spew about how there’s an undetectable lameness that you were lucky to find before the entire horse just came unglued. Clearly this vet has a theory about your checkbook.

It isn’t appealing in the English riding community to allow your horse in public without shoes. It’s not even an option as far as I can tell. My Dutch Warmblood came into my care with a mess of  hoof problems, all caused directly by farriers who had done a little creative marketing and therefore expensive shoeing. The former owners were very proud of the amount of money they spent on his treatment.  Sparing no expense, because at this point they had no idea what to do with the beast and it seemed most attractive to throw money at it.

Well that was four years ago. I let his shoes fall off, I let his feet get ratty, sore, bruised, and I allowed his Navicular changes to do whatever they were going to do. They went away. I don’t have a farrier, I don’t trim his feet, I have only rasped him a handful of times. I let my horses live outside and they take care of it themselves. My ” lame” Warmblood  has the most beautiful, sound hooves you could imagine. They are perfectly shaped, as though freshly trimmed.

Look through the hype people.