Archive for June, 2010
Sponsored by: Pippa Equine Company makers of Deco’s Monster Mash
Do you feed bran mashes to your horses? If so, this contest is for you! Sponsored by Pippa Equine Co., makers of Deco’s Monster Mash, we want to know how you feed mash to your horses! Send us your favorite bran mash recipe in the comment section below and you will be entered to win one of Deco’s Monster Mash flavors.
Larissa reviewed this product earlier this year:
Not only is this mash yummy, all-natural and nutritious, it also aids in hydration which is so critical to maintain in our competitive companions!
To read the full article, go to Deco’s Monster Mash Product Review!
Contest closes on July 31st, and the winner will be selected at random, so send in your favorite recipe now!
Look forward to receiving all your comments!! – Larissa and Libby
By: Larissa Cox
All of us, I’m sure, have heard the term “horse whisperer” or “animal communicator”. Some people think it’s a bunch of hooey, but is there something there?
My experience with an animal communicator happened last year when my horse Phantom was not recovering at all from his stifle surgery. A year after his surgery, Phantom just wasn’t acting normally. He couldn’t take up the right lead canter, wasn’t balanced and just wasn’t acting like himself. The vet said he was fine, but was he?
It was my mother who suggested an animal communicator, stating “what’s there to loose, we’ve tried everything else!” So, what the heck…the communicator required my horse’s name, age and picture. Just as she looked at Phantom’s picture, Phantom started talking! The communicator said, “Wow, Phantom is in extreme pain.” When she asked me about Phantom’s back leg, I acted dumb and said that I didn’t know anything (even though I did). She said the leg really bothers Phantom and his pain is very high. She also said that Phantom is very unbalanced and is trying to compensate, but fell down. She said that he’s very upset by this. At this point, I was speechless. How did she know…?
“What do I need to do?” I asked the communicator, not really expecting an answer. The communicator immediately started telling me about alternative medicines. Phantom needs body alignment, she went on to say. He said that he does not feel straight, his leg is very tight and it cannot move properly. “I really hurt,” he said. Phantom also wanted to acknowledge that he liked it when I talked to him. He felt comfort in that. He sent out a big heart to all of us and told us that he enjoys where he lives and that the people there are nice to him.
I was in shock. How did this person know the feelings of my horse? How did she know that he was in pain and that his leg was stiff? And, is there actually something to this animal communication stuff? Okay, I didn’t have anything to loose, so the next day, I started my quest to find an alternative medicine practitioner.
Days later, while attending a Centered Riding Instructor’s Clinic, I met an interesting lady. Once a large animal vet, this amazing person left the typical practice changing to body alignment and Chinese medicine. I asked her to come and visit Phantom to see what she could do. During her first visit, she spent over 3 hours with Phantom, doing combinations of chiropractic adjustments and body alignments and the difference in Phantom’s walk was amazing! Phantom seemed to respond favorably to this adjustment, so I asked her to return the following month. Again, she spent another 3 hours with Phantom, this time performing acupuncture on Phantom as well. Phantom took it all in! After this visit, I lunged Phantom and was amazed to see that he took up the right lead canter immediately and while he wasn’t able hold it for a length of time; he actually took up that lead!
Two months later, I contacted the animal communicator again as a follow-up visit just to see what she would say only to be told that Phantom is feeling much better. While his pain is still there, it is not as bad as it was. Phantom acknowledged the work that was being done to him stating that it was helping him out and thanked me. I never told the communicator that someone was working on Phantom…
Today, after several chiropractic body treatments and acupuncture, Phantom has been able to return to work and is better than ever. His pain is no longer an issue and he has returned to dressage training.
We all have stories to share or problems we just can’t figure out. Communicators, animal or otherwise, may be a valuable source. In my case, there was a happy ending and was it actual or fortunate that the communicator actually gave me insight. You have to have an open mind to take it seriously, or you may want to do is just for fun with your friends. You might figure out some problems no one else sees, or simply become closer to your horse. I think all of us have a sort of inner communication or insight if we pay attention.
I know I have become closer to all my animals and are more aware of what is going on around me. At one time, I used to laugh when I heard someone speaking to their animals through a communicator, but today I smile, knowing that there are some questions that never can be answered.
By: Larissa Cox
Recently, I have had the opportunity to sample a new product, Deco’s Monster Mash a specality, USA manufactured gourmet bran mash for horses. “Carrot Calamity” was the mash tried and let me tell you… this is a great name for this mash! Just look at the layer of carrots in this mash.
Firstly, each attractively packaged mash is 16 oz. This mash has no artificial ingredients, no added sugars and nothing but the highest quality, organic, naturally dehydrated fruits & vegetables. Upon first glance at the package, you’ll notice that there’s a smaller amount of bran, but much more of the “good stuff” such as Wheat mash, Alfalfa, Rolled Oats, Un-sweetened Beet Pulp, Cracked Corn and Ground Flax Seed and in Carrot Calamity a large layer of dehydrated carrots!
Once the 5 cups of hot water was added, a pleasant aroma filled my senses. After 15 minutes, the dehydrated vegetables plumped up and the mash looked good enough for me to eat! For those of you concerned about feeding this product on a weekly basis, there’s no need to worry as this formula was created to allow for weekly feeding without the risk of the dreaded “big head” from too much calcium intake. In addition, not only is this mash yummy, all-natural and nutritious, it also aids in hydration which is so critical to maintain in our competitive companions.
Bruq, my Arabian gelding, was the first to receive his portion of Carrot Calamity. Each year, I have serious problems with Bruq during show season as he refuses to drink water or eat no matter how long at the show grounds. Bruq is not your typical horse as he does not like any type of conventional mash products, so feeding him this gourmet bran mash was a test and very interesting. Not only did he immediately approach my mixing bowl, he couldn’t wait until I put his mash into his feed bucket. His head didn’t leave his feed bucket until everything was gone!
Phantom was next in line, and again, ate this mash with great enthusiasm and enjoyment occasionally lifting his head to savour his bites.
Pippa Equine, manufacturers of Deco’s Monster Mash offers this mash in several great named flavors: Applepaloosa, Buckin’Bananaberry, Carrot Calamity, Florida Orange, Frolickin’ Fruit Cocktail, Kickin’ Kiwi, Lip Smackin’ Strawberry Banana, Peachy, Pear Passage, Peppermint Piaffe (peppermints not included), Tropical Trot and Very Berry. These mashes are now available at Dover Saddlery on-line and at all of their 12 retails outlet stores, or can be purchased directly through Pippa Equine at www.pippaequineco.com. The suggested retail price for these Monster Mashes range from $7.50 – 8.50 each depending upon flavor.
Personally, I can’t wait for Bruq to try out the other flavors as his taste test for Carrot Calamity was 4-hooves up!
POUR VINEGAR ON THOSE GREENS!
No, we don’t mean that nice healthy salad you had for lunch. We mean those noxious weeds that diminish the look and quality of your farm and even around your house. You can kill weeds without a guilty eco-conscience with this easy non-toxic, homemade herbicide recipe for spray bottles or tank sprayers:
1 gal. white vinegar
1 oz. insecticidal soap concentrate (found at home and garden centers)
Combine in a tank sprayer. Choose a calm, clear day (when rain is not predicted for at least 12 hours) and spot spray weeds.
This chemical-free concoction will also help reduce non-point source pollution: water runoff that carries natural (urine, manure), and manmade (pesticides, chemicals) pollutants that are eventually deposited into ground water, ponds, and lakes.
“Protecting drinking and surface water quality is our number one issue in the world today,” says Alayne Blickle, program director for Horses for Clean Water. “Reducing non-point source pollution should be a horse owner’s first goal when they go green.”
For those of you who are fortunate to board your furry friends, this herbicide works wonders on all those ugly looking weeds growing in and around your flower beds, driveways and walkways around your home. Now that the weekend is upon us – Go forth and spray!
Happy weeding – Larissa
By: Larissa Cox
The Longtissimus Dorsi, the longest muscle of the horse, runs over the top of the back, basically running from the croup to the withers. The rectus abdominus is the underside of the belly. Muscles work in opposing pairs, also called antagonistic pairs. The extensor muscle opens up, while the flexor muscle closes. On a horse, if you think of the horse going round as it being a “bow” shape, the muscle on top is in extension and the muscle on the bottom is in flexion. In order to help build up the horse’s ability to “go round”, really, what you need to do, is help the flexor muscle flex, which is help the abs crunch – abs underneath the belly of the horse. It was shown in by Roberts et al (1998) that this happens in trot rather than walk.
If you look at the skeleton above, you see that the vertebrae of the neck are actually pretty far down in the neck. Therefore, it takes a lot in order to lift these vertebrae up and create that extension and opening up of the joints. Basically, you need to lift the whither up, while maximizing that extension over the rest of the topline (longtissimus dorsi, LD) and flexion in the abs.
This might be hard to do when riding because there is always the weight of the rider sitting on top of the extension muscles. (Affirmed by De cocq et.al.2006 - weight of the rider puts horse’s back into flexion. Therefore, one needs to maximize extension - round over the topline on the ground first before adding the weight of the rider). There are several ground exercises that you can do to facilitate improved way of going. Basically, what you are doing is improving the horse’s proprioception (an awareness of where one’s body is in space) by feeding the horse sensory data while moving, therefore impacting the movement pattern.
So, what you want to do is connect the back end of the horse to the front end of the horse at the trot – to stimulate the abs to flex and the LD to extend. It has been said that the Pessoa lunging system is one of the smartest investments a rider could make, because it does just what you want – work the horse connecting back to front. The Pessoa system does not, however, work as a complete loop, but rather the two ends fasten separately to the roller so the aid is in fact a U shape.
The Equi-Ami system is the only training aid that functions as a complete loop which is acknowledged by a full UK patent. The Equi-Ami system is excellent for helping with ewe necks and rehabilitated thoroughbreds. The free movement in the continuous loop brings about increased softness and swing in a horse’s work and leaning and tension are avoided.
Once you have started working the horse “head-to-tail” on the ground, it’s time to start working the horse using the same methods while riding. Remember, to focus on driving the horse forward from behind and concentrating on lifting the withers up to create maximal flexion over the topline. Also, when training for this development, keep in mind, these “bow and string” muscles are engaged and utilized in the trot, and not in the walk. So, keep the tempo up while training for topline development, and relax and stretch in the walk.