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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Day 3: Nasr the rare baby Arabian horse

Today brought new adventures for Nasr.

There were heavy rains.  And mom thought Nasr could handle it.

So, Nasr got to experience being in a stall for the first time.

And, he got to wear his first blanket.  He was fearless, happy to be draped, following me around the stall in his hot pink.  Don't worry buddy, those pictures will be safely hidden away when it's time for you to impress the ladies with your manly self.

He continues to amaze me with his calm, curious and brave mind and heart.

Day 2
Day 4

Nasr is one of only six remaining Jilfan Sitam al Bulad Arabians.  East West is working hard to save and restore the bloodline. Please visit to read about the preservation program and help preserve this rare bloodline for future generations to enjoy.

copyright (c) 2018, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Day 2: Nasr the baby Arabian horse

Nasr's second day here at East West on the outside.
Meaning the outside of mom's tummy.
For months we have watched his mom get bigger, seen those first kicks and stirs, even observed Lucky the wise Arabian with his nose on her belly, quietly doing...something...
Talking to him?

Just overnight, he has changed a little.
His opinions are stronger.
His will is stronger.
His legs are more coordinated.

He likes having his neck and chest scratched.  And is starting to clumsily return the grooming.

He dislikes being restrained.  And will buck and rear to object.  Even at 2 days old, it takes some strength to insist that those behaviors are not allowed with humans.

And he is still very much a baby.  Wake, eat, play, and then sound asleep in the blink of an eye.
Boots make good pillows...

And today's giggle:
Some days Bahi is very photogenic.  And some days...well...
Day 1
Day 3

Just 10 minutes and $10 can make a bigger difference than you realize. Please visit to read about the preservation program and help save this rare bloodline for future generations to enjoy.

copyright (c) 2018, all rights reserved

Friday, June 8, 2018

Day 1: Nasr the baby Arabian horse

Bahiya's baby arrived today!!!!

Baby Nasr is here!!!!

His full name is EW Nasr Mubaarak, which means Blessed Victory.  His pedigree is here.

It suits him.  He is the future of the recovery of the Jilfan Sitam al Bulad Malabar Arabians at East West.

For now, he is an adorable baby, with a lot of growing and learning to do.

And look, already peeing like the big boys.  This is a really important milestone that first day, to know that he is drinking well and all the plumbing works.

Come back tomorrow for new pictures and adventures!
Day 2

Did you know you can be a Horse Hero by joining the preservation program team?  Please visit to help save this rare bloodline.

photo credits @cdyhair
copyright (c) 2018, all rights reserved

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Topline, muscle and fat in horses

Folks talk about putting weight on or building topline on a horse. First let’s talk about what fat, muscle and topline really mean.

Muscles move bone.  Muscles can be increased by correct exercise to challenge the muscles, combined with proper nutrition to fuel muscle repair and growth.

Fat is entirely different than muscle.  Horses store fat under the skin (subcutaneous) and in the abdominal cavity (visceral fat), as well as in the muscle tissue (think marbling on a steak).  To add fat to a horse, you feed more calories that the horse is burning.  The horse's body stores the extra calories as fat.

Topline refers to the area from the withers to the tail along and on top of the spine.  Topline is mainly formed from muscle development, although fat deposits contribute.

Body condition in horses is most often assessed using the Henneke scale.
Keep in mind also that a horse can be lean yet very fit and well muscled, or can be fat and unfit, or a variety of mixes of muscle development and fat reserves.

To read more, please visit our new website and blog at

Copyright ©2017 Carrie Eastman.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Healthy Soils = Healthy Animal Feed

September already!  There is a slight chill at night and the leaves are starting to change.  With these early hints that winter is approaching, my thoughts turn to next year's pasture and browse.  Soils fed in fall have all winter to rest, rebalance and rebuild.

The soil in pastures is alive with various organisms, including the forage or crop growing on/in it. These complex living systems have biological processes very similar to human or animal bodies, right down to the preferred pH.   I find it fascinating that as the soil becomes more mineralized the pH of the soil becomes more alkaline, just as it would in a healthy human body.  The soil has circulation, nutrients, waste products, life cycles - all the functions of a body.  All the components are interconnected, and there are synergistic (enhancing) and antagonistic (supressing) relationships between the components.

If you can view your land as a living organism, you can enhance health and increase production. Please, avoid the conventional N-P-K model.  This approach to soils leads to nitrogen-addicted imbalanced soils and low-nutrient pastures.

There are many ways to make soil healthier.  I have gathered up various tidbits and tips and links to give you some starting points for your research.  I encourage you to muscle test or dowse your possible approaches to find what best suits your land.

If you only invest in one book about soils, I highly recommend Eco Farm by Charles Walters.
If you are going to buy 2 books, add Weeds, Control Without Poisons by Charles Walters.
I also suggest learning all you can about the Albrecht Model of soil fertility.  Here is a simple starting article.  Albrecht's papers and talks are available on Amazon and from Acres USA.

I also encourage you to look into radionics and broadcast towers.  I did a brief summary of both, with related links, here.  The government cracked down on these a few years back, so information can be tricky to find.

Your first step, before applying any fertilizer, is to analyze your soil. How To Interpret A Soil Test by Steve Frack. This is a fairly conventional discussion with good descriptions of the various components of a soil test

An excellent soil test service is Western Laboratories in Idaho.   Contact me please for their phone number.

There are many foods for soils.  In general, I believe fertilizers should be plant-based or contain chelated minerals for the best results.  There are many many sources of healthy fertilizer.

Fertilizers can be made from sea vegetation.   Wachters sells seaweed-based fertilizer that can also be used to bring up sodium and iodine levels in soils.  You can do an internet search to find other sea vegetation fertilizers. has some interesting information about seawater and sea salt fertilizer. There are lots of great links on this website, and information about how seawater works on soil.  Keep in mind that seawater these days can be very polluted, so please muscle test or dowse any product you are considering.
[At Oak Hill, natural trace mineral salt applied at 2 pounds/acre tested well]  has a lot of information about chelated minerals. Albion and their founder, Ashmead, are the original chelate innovators, and a great place to learn the basics.

Composted manure is another fertilizer option.  Generally, if you are applying composted manure, the best application time is early fall.  You may want to consult The Old Farmer's Almanac for more precise spreading dates.  Check your manure source.  Manure from farms that use chemical wormers or herbicides may contaminate your soil.

Zeolite is a possible addition to a fertilizer program.  It holds moisture and also traps toxins.  Here are some zeolite resources:

An important note about green (fresh uncomposted) manure:  Green manure is very high in potassium.  If you use green manure you may need to add a bit of sodium (sea salt or mined mineral salt) to your soils to balance the potassium.  Epsom salts/magnesium chloride are commonly suggested as a remedy.  However, magnesium can harden soils.

If your soils test as acidic or low in calcium, you may be told to add lime.  Before adding lime, consider your soil type.  Calcium can be added as dolomitic lime (magnesium carbonate), calcium carbonate, or gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate).  Choosing the wrong calcium can harden your soils or create a mineral imbalance.  Gypsum raises calcium and sulfur levels without affecting pH.
[Oak Hill does best with gypsum, as we have low calcium, high iron, high clay soil]

Now that you have a sense of direction for your soil-wellness research, go forth and learn!  Your land will thank you.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Humility & Horses

In my experience, there is no better teacher of humility than a horse.

IF you have a heart open to hearing.

This point was driven home for me the other day by my mare Sugar.

Sugar (Miss Doc Alena) is a wonderful cutting mare who came into my life around the time I was first learning to hear the horses speak to me.  She and I had bonded well, and on the ground, she is very much my friend and companion.

On her back, well, that was another matter.  I just haven't quite been "clicking" with her.  And I was a bit stumped about why.

She has loads of training in her background.  She was super smooth and super sensitive when I rode her before bringing her home.

My first clue that maybe I was missing something, was her reaction to the bitless bridle compared to wearing a bit.  I figured she would enjoy going without a bit.  I mean, after all, who wouldn't, right???

Sugar likes her bit.  Her whole expression softens.  Put a hackamore on her, and she is tense, no matter how padded the nose.  I just wasn't listening, because I had made my mind up that I knew best.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to figure out what was wrong.  I was still getting on her with an attitude of "I'm the teacher, you are the student."  Even knowing that Lucky, my Arabian, had already insisted on giving me lessons about how to use my seat, somehow I just didn't stop and think that maybe Lucky was pointing out that my skills aren't quite as good as I thought they were.  

So I was getting on Sugar, and thinking, I'll do some basic bending, and some yields, and start to show her the different types of rein (direct, indirect).  Maybe ask her to yield her hindquarters or open her shoulders.

Sugar was not amused.

So a couple days ago, I had my new-to-me Bob Marshall treeless to try out (this one has the setback stirrups) and my new-to-me SaddleRight pad (I had been using a Skito).  I tacked her up, mounted, and as soon as I started asking for some movement I started to get attitude from her. Nothing mean, nothing strong enough to dump me, just unhappy and cranky.

I started to cue Sugar for a move - maybe it was opening her shoulder? - and suddenly we were spinning. After finding my balance again, I thought, "well gee, she didn't understand" so I changed my cue a bit.  And I got a quick light sidepass.  I almost fell off.  Then I started laughing, and I'm still grinning as I type this.  She was trying to tell me all along, she already knows this stuff, and more.  It's me that needs to learn how to ride her.  
Taken at that moment that I finally understood her message
The instant that thought crossed my mind and settled in my heart, her attitude changed.  She calmed. She softened.  I felt a clear sense of relief from her that finally her person is getting "it".  She's got it covered.  She knows what to do.  My job is to learn to stay with her, and learn to lend her confidence and courage when faced with something scary.

Since that ride, our relationship has deepened.  She comes to me more often.  She comes to me and relaxes and sighs.  And chews.  And falls asleep.

I'm very excited, and perhaps a bit daunted as well, to see what she will teach me about riding a highly-trained sensitive cutting horse.

So, if you are ever feeling a bit overconfident and need a dose of humility, open your heart and listen to your horse.  Amazing things can result!

PS - If you are wondering how we liked the new style of Bob Marshall, for riding her, my more forward-set stirrups on my other Bob Marshall seem to suit us both better.  The SaddleRight pad we both like.