Category Archives: Handy Tips

Polishing up the Old Mare.

FIRST, FOR ALL OF YOU NORTHERN CALIFORNIA READERS:  National Equine Resources Network has a very successful low-cost gelding clinic program working year round throughout California.  NERN is currently looking for facilities in Northern California for their Spring Clinics.  Ideally they want a venue of 10 stalls and a covered area/arena with convenient highway access.  If you know of any facility that would donate their grounds, please let me know.  Many thanks!!  THIS IS A GREAT PROGRAM that takes a proactive stance on the plight of homeless horses.

And… HORSELOVERZ is having a ‘make an offer’ sale on all of their saddles.  I just thought I’d pass this along in case anyone is looking for a saddle that HORSELOVERZ carries.  Seems like fun and potentially a great deal.  Here is the link.

Now back to the blog!


No, not me…

My old mare, Tess.  She probably gets the least attention of the entire herd.

It isn’t because I love her less that she receives the least attention.  It is just because she was pampered for so long in her show career (she used to be HVK Noble Heiress), she’s made it known that if no one ever messed with her again, she’d be OK with it.   And, she is THE QUEEN around the barn so what she says generally goes…

To be honest, I indulge her because she is so well mannered and behaved that she is hard to resist.  She has Hubby wrapped around her little hoof…  I swear she flirts with him.

Tess (seeing Hubby near the barn): Hhhhhheeeehhh  heh heh hey!

Hubby:  Are you referring to me?

Tess:  Oooh yes.  You are sooooo handsome and I really think a cookie from you would be better than a cookie from anyone else.

Hubby:  A cookie from me?

Tess (giving her best Barbara Eden eye bat):  Oh yes, Master!

Hubby:  How many cookies would you like?

Tess: Coming from you, every cookie would be a celebration!

Hubby:  Wow. OK, would you like the whole box of cookies then?

Tess (smiling inside):  If you could…

Hubby (giving Tess everything she wants…): You are the best horse, we communicate so well!

Tess (smiling inside): Oh Yes, Master!

Tess in her glory days. Spit-shined for sure.


I’ve got to shout out for the older horses.

I know that many people think older horses are worthless.  If they cannot hold a job, all they are doing is eating up owners’ finances.

I see it totally differently.

Older horses are so wise.  They’ve been there done that.  They are calm, grateful and introspective.  They thank you.  They appreciate you.

They calm and teach the young horses.  They calm and teach the humans.

And it doesn’t take much to make them happy… It’s like taking Grandma to the mall or for lunch.  The LOVE that you thought of them and they love getting out and they love being with you.  Simple.  The older ones concentrate on what is important…

Companionship, life and appreciation.

It kills me that the older horses are dumped and overlooked often.

(To that point, if you’d like to look after and sponsor an older, abandoned horse, click here.)


OK, well, back to Tess.

She may always be the QUEEN, but she doesn’t always look the part.  Ahem.

Yesterday she appeared rather shabby.

Her coat was filthy and muddy, her eyes had some goop and her mane looked tufty and clumpy.

She was due for a fluff and fold.

So, I brought her in.

Tess last week. Matted, dirty with eye goobers. She doesn't care but...


It is actually quite easy to bring her in.  That is what I love about the older mares.  They create a wide berth.  No one messes with them and everything happens at a slow and steady pace.  In fact, I could swing open the barn gate and sit there – and no other horse would dare to walk through before the QUEEN.  Love that.

So I opened the gate and called to her…

All the other horses:  We’ll come in!   How about us?!

Me:  Teeeee  esssssss.

Tess:  Yes.

Me:  I think you need an overhaul.  Whaddyathink?

Tess:  I think I’m fine.

Me:  Well, your tail is matted, your eyes are goopy and your mane is a mess.

Tess:  And…

Me: C’Mon, let me fix you up…

Tess (walking through the gate, grandly):  If you must.


The Grand Dam Tess entered the barn will full fanfare.  All the other animals scattered as she pranced into poll position.

As with all celebrities, she has barn demands written into her contract…  (I’ve long since agreed to her demands and provide accordingly.)

Tess demands to be tied up in front of the third stall.  She likes to have a clean pile of hay in front of her and she likes to sniff the kitties.

Since Tess is such a good girl all the time, I give her what she wishes – contract or not…  I tie her up by the third stall, I give her all the excess hay from all the bins so she has a nice potpourri of different hay samples and I let the kitties mill about.

Spoiled.  Probably.  I have a hard time denying her anything she wishes… that’s always been her charm.

But, as I sit here, I have to say that guilt might play a part here.  I do have guilt for making her perform for so many years.  Part of me knows that she loved being the center of attention.  Another part of me knows that she will suffer joint and ligament pain for the rest of her life because of the intense and stressful job of showing as a Park horse.

Yes, I spoil her.  She’s no bother and she’s earned it.  Spoiling her is the least I can do.

The barn kitties that she loves to watch


Next, we start the ‘procedure’ of bringing the QUEEN back to her grand dam state.

Since it is too cold to wash her, I use this incredible product called Grapefruit Coat Refresh (if you want some, get it now because they are having a sale).  It is like a dry shampoo without the mess of dry shampoo.  It makes her smell fresh and look clean without a bath – Love it!  All I do is spray it on my brush and then give her a good once-over.

My arsenal.


OK, well, some mares love udder washing and some hate it.

Tess loves it.  I swear she rubs her tail just so I will notice and clean her udder.

‘Nuff said…  (I use this to clean her udders.)

Anyway, if you have a mare who rubs her tail when there are no worms, flies or midges, you might want to make sure her udder is clean.

"That feels good!" face. (It looks like she is eating hay from the bale, but actually, she is raising her head and making that face they make when you are itching a good spot!)


I don’t know about you… but tail detanglers that I’ve tried can be really nasty, gooey and slimy..  I hate it when the tail is so sticky from the detangling that it picks up entire bushes of stray leaves and sticks the next time they walks through the paddock…

I didn’t have a detangler so I used the Grapefruit stuff here and after some tricky finger futzing, I had her tail looking good.

The best part?… I could tell that SHE FELT GREAT because she lifted her tail in that ‘show’ stance.  She felt Foofey.   I loved it!

She is strutting and feeling FOOFEY! I caught her at the tail end of her strut, but she was definitely showing off to the crowd with her tail up!


Sometimes, older horses are more sensitive to dust, flies and the sun.  So, they have constant eye goop.

Tess is that way.  She really needs an eye mask at all times.

And even with an eye mask on all the time, she still gets eye goobers.  So I wash her cheek and apply the gel (from the vet) into her eyes.

Now tell me, what youngster would stand there, without a halter, and let you dissolve the goop and add drops?

Yup.  You gotta love the older ones…

Me:  Let me clean out your eyes there.

Tess:  If you must.

Me:  I must.

Tess:  OK, just get it over with.

Me:  OK, close your eyes.

Tess:  For how long?

Me:  I love you. You are perfect.

Tess:  I know.


I swear.  If you groom them, they will strut.  It may not be an award winning strut, but it will be a strut nonetheless.

And yesterday, Tess strutted out of the barn as if she was THE SHIZZ!

She didn’t get far before she buried her head in the grass, but for those moments, I did see her as she used to be.


I love the old ones…

Here she is, settled down to graze - but you can see that her tail is still held high. She loves being pampered again - even if she won't admit it.


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

click for Autumn's story...


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

History in the making! A newsy day… And why I missed yesterday.

Hello All!

Why I missed yesterday has nothing to do with what I am going to write about today.

I missed yesterday because sometimes (OK, often…) I don’t finish my blog until around dinner time.   (Like tonight.  It is waaay past dinnertime and I am just beginning to write.)

Anyway, when I have that day’s blog written, I schedule it to post in the wee hours of the next day.

OK, so last night, I had just come in from feeding and had settled into my chair when I realized that the buttons on my computer were not working.  Well, that’s not quite right… the buttons were working but nothing was zooming about, taking me to this site or that site for my research.  Like a toddler, I kept banging the buttons.  Make it work!  Make it work!  But it didn’t.

OMG.  The Internet was flat-lined.  EVERYONE C-L-E-A-R!  I banged on the keyboard with rhythmic vigor.

Still nothing.

“Don’t panic,” I said to myself, it will come back.

But, it didn’t.

Fingers flying and spastic, I called our internet provider. The recorded message was foreboding.   Yes, they were aware of the outage.   All of us Netaholics were to remain calm…

I waited for many hours and nothing budged.

It never re-booted.  It never took me to the places I wanted to go… It just left me there.  Hanging.

So, since I had procrastinated yesterday and didn’t have anything posted pre Netbreak, nothing posted for you all.

I even got up at 3am to see if I could post before I left for work.  But, the Internet, my close friend, was still down.

(hanging head)

I’m sorry.  I will post double in penance.  (Part of me is still Catholic – the guilty part… <smile>)

Uh huh.




So today I was working my other job.  We were in San Francisco shooting the launch of the 4 Wave Glider ocean robots which are attempting a World Record for the longest, unmanned boat excursion.

Now that doesn’t sound like much – until you think about what an unmanned, self-propelled robot data retrieving and sending boat could do for our nation…

That’s probably why Virgin Oceanic, Google Earth, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the military (and NASA) were in attendance.


Lots of very important people were there and I felt honored to be shooting the event.

History today.


I sat on the edge of my pillar (I leaned against a pillar for most of the presentation since there were no seats left in the venue) with my mouth agape.

All these brainiacs were explaining to this room full of elite scientists and investors the many good services these unmanned robots could perform while saving human lives and not using any fuel…  The room literally crackled with energy.  It was so exciting!

I wanted to tell you about it so that you can say that you knew about these things before they became common place in a few years.

Click here to learn more


The Wave Glider boats are powered by wave action and solar energy.  They don’t need anything to get where they are going…  They are piloted via satellite.

They look like surfboards with antennae, data retrieving devices, apparatus and solar panels.  Under the water, they have a tether that is attached to fins.  The bank of fins catch the currents and that constant fin motion propels the boat.  The solar panels runs all the data gathering tools.

Liquid Robotics wave glider

Here is a Wave Glider being launched into the ocean.



I have to say that Chris Welsh from Virgin Oceanic (Yes, that Virgin…) put his bag right next to mine.  I saw him place his bag and in that instant, I had some fantasy that maybe his backpack would communicate with my purse and I’d learn something and become smarter in some way.  Or maybe some other-worldly wildly successful celebrity dust would sprinkle my purse dousing Virginesque success upon me…

Anyway, all fantasy aside, Virgin Oceanic was there as a sponsor because they plan on using the Wave Gliders in future expeditions to the deepest parts of the oceans.



Google Earth was there for a zillion reasons.  In fact, I saw that they had posted about the launch already and you can follow the boats via Google Earth mapping.  HOW FUN!

Jenifer Foulkes from Google Earth, posted this.  Very cool.

Click here to go to this page.


So, if you want to follow what is happening on this 300 day venture, you can follow the Wave Gliders on FB.  Here is the link.

A photo from the historic launch today.




Since I spent so much time on non-horse newsy stuff, I thought I would share some newsy horses stuff!



Here they are in their younger years...

Here is the link to the story…  You can watch the video here.


Date: Tuesday Nov. 15, 2011 4:00 PM PT

Eleven years after she had to give up her beloved horse because her health was failing, a B.C. woman has been reunited with the long-lost pet that was narrowly saved from the slaughterhouse.

Splash came into Erin Rogers’ life in 1995 as her diabetes was getting worse and she feared she was dying. The young gelding gave purpose to her life.

“I saw him and I just fell in love with him,” she told CTV News.

But her disease became so severe that she required a double organ transplant, and she didn’t feel she could give Splash the care he deserved.

She sold him to someone she trusted, but he was never far from her mind. Several years ago, with her health improving, Rogers began searching for Splash.

“I never forgot about him,” she said. “I started looking on the rescue sites. I asked friends. I thought he was out in the Chilliwack area.”

She learned that Splash’s original buyer had sold him again. It wasn’t until last week that a friend spotted the horse on the website for J&M Acres Horse Rescue in Maple Ridge.

“I just saw him on my friend’s little phone and he was filthy and skinny, and I saw this tiny little picture and I knew that it was him and I just started crying and shaking,” she said.

The rescue centre took Splash in after receiving a call that he was headed to slaughter. They found room for him and named him Jack.

“He was emaciated, he was skinny, he was really haunted-looking and he was having a bit of trouble moving,” Amy Lizzee of J&M Acres said.

Within days of hearing from Rogers, rescuers reunited her with Splash.

“He’s just as sweet as I remember,” Rogers said.

Now 24 years old, Splash has arthritis and Rogers will never ride him again. Her health is still fragile and she tires easily, so the two old friends often spend their time simply sitting together.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro

Here they are today - old friend reunited.



Hay prices are prohibitive in many states right now but Texas is really suffering.

I found this article… it has petition information as well as some ideas about how to help.  If you GOOGLE ‘hay shortage in Texas’, you will find many ways to help.

Click to go to the article



Lots of mare’s milk has really helped our girl!

She is gaining weight and filling out!  Unfortunately, she still has a low grade infection so she cannot leave the ICU – yet.  But, she is much better and things are looking up.

The folks at HOPE FOR HORSES are so grateful for the Bucket Fund because without it, they may not have been able to make these (costly) choices to save her life.  But now, Autumn has a very, very good chance at survival – after a very miserable start.  You can read her story here.  If you’d like to donate to her cause, click here.

This is Autumn resting with a full tummy of warm mare's milk....


She's gaining weight! Fresh mare's milk is gooooood!


This is Bizzy. The very generous milk mare.



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

Click for the Bucket Fund to help our little filly get out of ICU!



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!