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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

It is a generally accepted rule that horses that are in good health and are neither very young nor very old, do not need a winter blanket. There are always exceptions to the rule; if the horse doesn’t have a thick hair coat, or is thin skinned, or perhaps is a show horse who is shaved, then you would want to put a winter blanket on them when it dips below freezing.

However, what about senior horses with health problems?

I frequently feel the disapproving eyes of ” blanket skepticals” when the temperatures are halfway decent and I’m dragging out my lightweight blanket for Molly. What they don’t know, is not only is Miss Molly 25 years young but she is Insulin Resistant which is diabetes, more or less, and blanketing is recommended in temperatures of 40 degrees or less. The reason behind this is that horses with IR cannot keep themselves warm in the same way that healthy horses can, and the cold can have adverse effects including but not limited to foot pain that can lead to Laminitis or Cushing’s.

I would never in a million years have blanketed my horse in such warm weather in years past, however last winter in 2014, Molly scared the hell out of me. Since she’s always been an easy keeper (affectionately called Mooolly by some) watching the weight just fall off of her was dreadful and highly concerning. I thought it was going to be my last year with her. I couldn’t figure out what was causing the weight loss except she had what seemed like constant muscle spasms but was otherwise healthy. The weather started to warm and I hoped the “shivers” would disappear but even on 45-50 degree days she was still shaking.

It finally occurred to me, like a smack in the face, that it was probably her insulin resistance that was contributing to the problem. I worked hard all summer to put fat and muscle back on her and was very successful; she is now at a good winter weight and I purchased 2 brand new winter blankets. One is a lightweight for when it’s dry but still dips into the high 30s and a polar blanket for when it’s wet and/or in the teens or negatives. She seems very comfortable in both and so far has kept her weight on and there have been no signs of her shivering.

Just for reference, she is fed a low starch/low sugar high fiber diet of soaked timothy pellets (I sometimes add alfalfa/timothy for extra warmth, but don’t recommend it as a daily feed), along with Platinum Performance CJ, and about a cup of corn oil for extra fat. She does very well on this diet.

I guess my point is just to pass along that not every horse is the same. Some need blankets, some need shoes, some need special diets. Always treat each horse as an individual and remember that what works for one horse may not work for another, and don’t call out another horse owner for a practice you don’t agree with until you know the reasoning behind it. Most importantly, as in everything, just use your common sense.

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Our purpose in this life is to (try) and enjoy every moment.

I can feel my life beginning to move again.  It’s almost like it’s been winter, not only in season but in practice as well and though winter has it’s time and I loved it and the warmth and comfort of the person I was wrapped up in it with,fiercely and undeniably, now the ice is beginning to melt and the rivers and streams of my life and my blood are starting to flow with new life and new passion.

There is a sort of chaos going on that is very tangible and it has me very excited, a new chapter is beginning.  All I seem to be able to focus on is getting out and gleaning new experiences in new places with new people.  My ache to explore has reached a height I haven’t experienced before and I find myself overwhelmed with anticipation for what this summer will bring.

Not all of the change in the air feels good; but it all feels like the beginning of a new journey.  I don’t know God’s plan for my life right now, and I’ve bargained a little that he let me off leash, however I can’t help but feel him pulling me in a certain direction and I can’t resist his call for very long.
So I’m sowing some wildflower seeds in the springtime but come summer, it feels like there is a very specific path I will be on and I can’t contain my excitement to find out what it is.  Bear with me y’all, I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, Happy Trails.

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Friends, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but temps here haven’t been above freezing in over a week. I’m not built for this nonsense!

The upside though, is that nobody,  including the horses wants to work, meaning we didn’t have any appointments on Sunday so I got to spend the day with my man. I had the urge to cook while we lazed around so I asked him to pick a recipe from one of my boards on Pinterest (Yay Pinterest!) and I would make dinner  while he watched the game.

Well dinner ended up being lunch because this recipe is super quick and easy. I did have to improvise on a few ingredients but if anything it added it the taste. There were one or two things I would tweak:
First, the recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes or paste, we used sun-dried tomatoes and in the future I would seek out the paste. I think it would stand out more in the soup.
Second thing I would change would have been to not use onion bits. We were out of powder so I used the bits and Boyfriend liked them but I did not. I’d have even prefered real onion. Other than that though, this recipe is tasty, easy, and fast.  I will be making it again!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

(Recipe adapted from http://recipeswagger.blogspot.com/)

Ingredients:

2 dollops garlic paste
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 10 3/4 oz Cans of  Tomato Soup
2 Tbls Of Sun Dried Tomato Paste
2 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Basil
1 Tsp oregano
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt & Rosemary* Optional
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 whole 9 Oz Package Of Cheese Filled Tortellini
(we used chicken & bacon & cheese filled)
3/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, for garnish

Directions:

1. Saute garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden. Don’t let it burn.

2. When the garlic is done, add tomato soup, tomato paste, half and half, chicken stock and spices.
3.Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup.
Read Package for directions. Don’t cook too long or the tortellini will bust.
After tortellini are cooked, serve and garnish with parmesan cheese.

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