Monday, October 26, 2009

sitting with the horses

I've gone back to sitting with the horses each day, just reading a book. Lucky has decided his place is to stand over me sleeping, and run the other horses away when they come over to see me. He's an interesting character...

In the ring, Lucky and I are still negotiating our relationship. He is very quick to get upset, dramatic and defensive. I find my requests must be subtle, and I must give him lots of space. I added treats to our sessions, and playing with walk, stop, stand and come with treat and scratch rewards. Ben and Poco watch this with great interest. In fact Ben was quite vocal when I played with him that he should be getting treat rewards also.

I read about someone who rewarded the spectator horses as well as the playing horse for each accomplishment, only to find that the spectators had learned the same lessons from watching. So, I'm adding that to our routine to see what Poco and Ben pick up.

Now that Ben is back to normal weight (after his dental issues) I'm riding him 20 minutes daily to get him back in shape. In his mid-20s, we are taking it slow. He seems happy to be out and about. We had a lovely short ride tonight and I watched the sunset while he munched grass.

Until next time, enjoy sitting with your horses on these lovely fall days!

Carrie & the boys

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My dog's health care program

I currently share my home with 3 dogs. Daisy, our Golden Retriever, Fearless the Border Collie and Wyatt the collie/husky.

All the dogs follow a fairly basic health program. I feed Dynamite Ultimate Dog Food, and occasionally supplement the dog food with pulp from the juicer, cooked and raw vegetables, and a bit of fruit. Most days they just eat the Ultimate, wetted with warm water. The Ultimate is grain-free and very calorie dense. My largest dog only eats 2 heaping cups daily and stays at a perfect weight.
Spring and fall, the dogs spend 28 days on Dynamite Herbal Tonic and Waiora Natural Cellular Defense (NCD). The Dynamite Herbal Tonic contains a variety of herbs known for liver cleansing and having vermifuge (anti-parasitic) properties. The NCD contain zeolite, a mineral that binds to and removes heavy metals.
As the dogs age, I usually give them either Dynamite Free & Easy or a mix of yucca, MSM and Ester C to support their joints.
The dogs get filtered well water to drink.
I feed the dogs raw beef bones or chicken necks to chew, to keep their teeth clean and get some fresh meat into them.
I have been following this very basic program for years, and the dogs have consistently tested negative for heartworms or other parasites.
I do vaccinate for rabies according to Pennsylvania law. My hope is that the rabies challenge will lead to a revision to the law to allow for titers rather than the vaccine.
For fleas, I sprinkle Borax on the carpets and vaccum, or bath the dogs in mild soap and water. 8 minutes in soap drowns most fleas. Neem oil can also be helpful repelling fleas. I use the Dynamite DynaShield as a topical repellent before taking the dogs hiking.
The dogs also received one round of puppy vaccines.
That is my dogs' entire health program. Simple. The dogs glow with health.

Copyright ©2016 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.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Playing with Poco, Ben and Lucky

What an amazing day playing with the horses! The weather was perfect, so I spent time with 3 of our 5 equines.

Poco was first up. I gave him a complete evaluation from nose to tail and touched up his barefoot trim. A bit of defense physiology work, some TTouch tail traction, and some flexibility exercises for his pelvis and sacrum completed our ground play. Poco has been on vacation for several months after some dental issues and associated weight loss. To help Poco regain his strength and flexibility, we are riding just 20 minutes or so several times a week. I set up some TTEAM obstacles to encourage him to flex his legs and bend his body.
First some simple ground poles...

Below are 2 shots of the labyrinth. The labyrinth has been shown to activate beta, alpha, theta and delta activity in the brain. The labyrinth builds calmness and focus and also encourages bending.

This random arrangement of poles is called "pick up sticks", which is great for developing eye-hoof coordination and proprioception.

This variation of ground poles encourages the horse to find his own straight line through the center of the poles. Drifting to either side causes the stride to become uneven and uncomfortable. (I bumped the far right pole - the angles should all match)

In between playing with the poles, I asked Poco for turns on the forehand, halt-walk-trot-halt transitions, bending, backing, and direct rein and neck rein patterns. After all these months, he remembered everything and gave me perfect responses with the lightest aids.
Ben also got bodywork and a pedicure. Ben prefers to exercise on the trail, so we went out for a quick ride down to the farm. (I promised him a break grazing the hay field before heading home) I'm finding that if I picture clearly when and where on our ride we are stopping to graze, he picks that spot and time.
Lucky and I played with sending away and returning, and seeing how subtle I could make my body language to communicate with him. We finished with some companion walking, which he is just figuring out. Lucky and I mostly play with Carolyn Resnick's Waterhole Rituals these days. Lucky tooks his first steps of companion walking with me today, and the bond between us is growing. He also pays very close attention when I am playing with the other horses.
I feel very grateful for these equine teachers in my life. Their soft eyes, cooperation and calmness are a gift.
Until next time,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New post on pasture nutrients at Quercus Knoll

Go to my sister blog to see my soil test results before and after applying Dynamite Prescription Treatment and CCF. My goal is to quadruple my pasture yields next year.