Category Archives: Handy Tips

OMG. To Die For Human and Horse Tags! She Finally did it! Affordable and Faboo! Sweetbird Studio, I love you!

OK, I know I shouldn’t get so excited over a ‘thing’.  It doesn’t cure cancer or save all the unlucky horses in the world.

But, it makes me happy and making me happy makes me more tolerable to my horses.  So, it kinda works.

Besides, every horse needs some bling to give to its rider to provide divine protection in an amuletpagen sort of way.

I give to you SWEETBIRD STUDIO  “Protect this Rider – and the horse she rode in on” tags!  Love ’em!

Click on image to go to site


OK, previously, I gave to you a blog on Sweetbird Studio PROTECT THIS HORSE tags which I bought for Finn.  I love mine.  It is sterling with turquoise.

But, it was slightly out of ‘buy it right now‘ range.

However, today, Sweetbird Studio came up with a way to lessen the cost but still give a great product with her Pewter and smaller turquoise stoned (who cares, right?) Rider tags.

Love them!  Only $35!!!  (click here)

You could get one for you and one for your friends for Xmas or whatever!

(I am not affiliated and I don’t get any kickbacks, in case you are wondering… although I wish I did!  <smile>)

This is mine that I purchased for Finn's saddle. It is the sterling one.


She makes the inexpensive pewter tags for horses and dogs, too!!

Wahoo!  Click here to go to the pet section of her site to browse.

This is the wonderful, less expensive, pewter version of my horse tag! Click image to go to pewter horse tags.

Here is the darling dog tag! Click image to go to dogtags.



This is how you order the tag I bought for Finn.  You can personalize it.   I see that she only has 15 left at this price – probably due to the rising cost of silver…  Click here to order one.

Sterling version. This is what I got for Finn. You can personalize it! Click here.




Yesterday I wrote about how for several reasons (excuses), I quit giving my horses their supplements for the past few months.  Because I hadn’t given supplements, Sam’s hooves had degenerated.  I stated that I was going to try Omega Alpha’s MINEREQ as a test to see if it rebuilds her hooves.

Well, all of that got me thinking…


Y’know, there a zillions out there.  I am always amazed at the pages and pages and pages of supplements in every equine catalog.

How could one possibly understand it all?

Well, you kinda have to be a chemist, really.  And, honestly, WHO really reads all the labels and then actually understands how all the compounds work together?

Very few.

I’ve had chemists and nutritionists take me through a lot of this and what they say about some manufacturers would make your blood boil.  Did you know that some ingredients won’t digest at all unless there is another specific ingredient to compliment it?  Did you know that only certain forms of many ingredients are digestible or strong enough to do any good?

I’m sure we’ve all wasted money on a product that seemed to not make any difference at all – or that the animal wouldn’t eat.

Most of us rely on luck, chance and the success of others when choosing a supplement.

And, sometimes the petri dish is in your own backyard…


I started using Equion 20 years ago.  I forget who turned me onto it but at that time, I was breeding my mare and needed something to help correct her cycles and get her ready.  I was told to purchase Equion.

I did.  It came in a no-frills bucket.  I used it for all of my horses because it also creates a fine hair coat and strengthens feet as well as balancing hormones.  It isn’t specific to mares.  Everyone got it.

Over time, the changes were subtle but dramatic.  All of them had very solid feet – or as solid as their particular conformation would allow -.  All of them were dappled and all of them had fabulous manes and tails.

I actually didn’t notice the changes until I would send a horse into training and the trainer would ask me what I was feeding him because he looked incredible.  Wow.  Trainers rarely tell a person that their homegrown horse looks fabulous.  But, they did.

I would tell them to use Equion.

Great product, no frills...

No frills, just a bucket of good. Click on image to go to site.

And, I have to say… the past couple of months, I haven’t had any Equion and I really see the lack.  Their dappling is almost gone.  Their coats don’t look as nice, the mares aren’t as happy and we’ve already seen Sam’s hooves from yesterday.

So, I ordered a huge pail of it today.  (Click here to go to their website and learn about Equion.)

While I was on the site, I also saw that they have a 40% OFF (Wahoo!) Special during August on their Hoof Supplement.  I’ve never used it but I bought it just because of the sale.  I will use it on BG, I think, since I am already using the MINEREQ on Sam.

Anyway, I am endorsing (no affiliation) this product because it has worked for me for years and I know the compounding is correct.

And, the same guy has been in charge of shipping from the website for years and he is really good.  He ships on time and always remembers you.


OK, well, I haven’t been using this for a long time.   I’ve used it every day for about 4 months on the ponies.  After about one month, I saw a big difference in their topline.  Their coats looks shiny and they seemed to be slightly less potbellied and more alert.  After the 4th month, I thought they had shaved a few years off of their 20 year old selves.

I wrote about it here.

Anyway, they don’t look as good right now.  Their spines are starting to show again and they don’t look as perky and shiny overall.  So, I have to say that the Equine Chia was helping them.

Many of you who have tried Equine Chia have written to me to say that it is quite remarkable!  So, I think we should all try it and see… It is fairly inexpensive.  Click here to review.

I ordered more.  I got the bag without the scoop (because I only used half of the scoop on the ponies anyway) and it is a really good deal.  Actually, it is all relatively inexpensive.

Here is the link to order it in several sizes.



Since we are chatting about ordering, I wanted to bring to your attention the Equi-Spa August Special.   BUY ONE COOL MUSCLE WASH AT $18.00 and GET THE SECOND ONE 1/2 OFF! STOCK UP… Get Two bottles for $27.00

What is Cool Muscle Wash anyway?  I wondered that, too.

My horses are just trail horses so they don’t really work that hard to need a muscle wash…  So I asked Equi-Spa why I should use it and she wrote back to me saying that it is a great way to cool yourself and your horse down after a ride.

Really?  OK, I’ll try it.

So, I did.

It was 95+ today.  I poured a little into my wash bucket and added water.  It smelled great!  Finn wanted to drink it.  Anyway, I got it on my sponge and it rolled down my arm.  Usually I hate that.  But today, it felt really good!  So, I took the sponge and applied it to my neck.

Ahhhhhh.  OMG.  I was really surprised that this worked so well so fast!

Finn was a bit miffed so I used the rest on him.  (Having him cooled down in this way made me feel less guilty about putting him in the trailer for the ride home.)

So, I think it does work in several ways, not just the intended use of a muscle aid.

Here is what the Equi-Spa website says about the Cool Muscle Wash:

Did you know that  it is also a fabulous all over cooling body brace in hot weather?  Yes!  You just add a couple of ounces to a bucket of cool water and sponge on.  Helps the horse stop sweating and lowers the body temp faster.  I use it on my shoulders when I get sunburned.  Takes the burn out!  The botanical extracts and essential oils in Cool Muscle Wash  soothe and cool  inflammed muscles and joints after a ride on a hot summer day right out of the bottle too.   Just spray on and brush in.

•    I use it before a ride sprayed on large muscles to enhance and allow for more range of motion.
•    It also works well with Peppermint summer Protection to keep the flies and mosquitoes away while you ride.
•    Some massage therapists who use this on their human clients to help relieve and relax pain and inflammation .
•    shortens cool down time used after a work out
•    Minty fresh aroma
•    Safe and non toxic botanical ingredients including Witch Hazel, known as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for centuries

If you’d like to order it, you can click here!  There is a lot of wonderful stuff on her website.  I love the Peppermint Summer Protection Spray (fly spray that I use on myself…) and THE BALM (cannot say enough about this – I use it on everything practically).

Also, I should mention that I put the Equi-Spa Show Thyme drops into Norma’s grazing muzzle.   It helps her.  She also likes me to use the Equi-Spa Lavender Cleansing Spray in there, too.  For some reason, she prefers the fragrances of the Show Thyme and the Lavender instead of the nasty plasticy rubber muzzle.  Go figure!

If she is gonna make me wear this, it better smell good.



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


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

The Wrigley Chronicles. Part 1

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 | Filed under Handy Tips

On July 11th, I saw the movie, BUCK and immediately wrote about it.

The whole movie motivated me… but one part in particular really moved me.  It was the sad part about the wayward 3 year-0ld colt.  I won’t go into the details because those of you who have seen the movie know EXACTLY what part I’m speaking about… and those of you who haven’t seen the movie need to go see it so I won’t tell you about it.

Anyway, after seeing that part of the movie, I wrote on July 12th that it was my responsibility to make the best citizen possible of all of my horses.  Especially the ones I bring into this world… which right now, is my Wrigley.

(You can read the original post here.)

Wrigley was born here... Big, red and bold...


Wrigley isn’t my favorite horse and I’ve certainly been avoiding training him for a long time…  Avoiding him wasn’t making our relationship any better, if you know what I mean.

I didn’t train him, he became more unruly, I liked him less and less so I didn’t want to train him.

It was a vicious cycle.

But, I made a promise to myself after seeing the movie, that I would step up and do this thing.

Yikes.  So, to motivate me to do this, I promised to all of you in my blog of July 12th, that I would work with him daily.

And, surprise surprise, I have….

THE REALITY – To Heck in a handbasket…

OK, so I rummaged through all the bookshelves to retrieve my training bibles which I skip-read through bits and pieces of the pertinent chapters.  Oy.  I had forgotten so much of the basics stuff.  It’s true, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

My gear looked like it had been living with the Munsters.  All my ropes and special training devices had so much dust and webs covering them that I had to pull out the pressure washer.

And, I came to realize, on my first day in the round pen, that my coordination SUCKS.

I had that Parelli rope twisted around my legs more than I had it swinging at himself.  Oh, and the carrot stick with the long rope… ahem, I may as well have been wrapping myself up as a present…  I was horrible at working the magic with those devices!  Thank Gawd no one was watching.

Wrigley didn’t know any better but I saw Gwen sniggering in the background…

"Can I help you with that?" Wrig watches closely as I try to unwind myself...


Day 2 was a bit better (I dispensed with the long ropes and carrot sticks until I could practice with one of my better trained volunteers).

I decided to keep it simple and just do some bonding and trust stuff.

This was a good idea with hilarious results.  Well, hilarious to some…

My grand idea was to sit with him while he ate.  I did this with most of my other horses and it created a food bond or something.  We’d just hang out and I’d pick through the hay to find the best bits and feed it to them.  It was sweet and peaceful and lovely.

Except not with Wrigley…  He just thought I was some sort of food vending machine and kept bumping me to give him more – faster.

Yup, that wasn’t working.  Fail.

This is him bowling me over to get treats. Fail. My bad.


I thought about how much I didn’t like his pushy behavior so I decided to create boundaries.  On this day, we went to the arena (me having to make him follow me – oh joy – one step forward, two steps back, dosey-doe and swing your partner…)  Once I finally circly-walked him up to the arena, I decided to do boundary exercises.

We did the ‘do what I do’ drill.

After about 30 horse-sized head bashes straight into my back, I got a little more loud in my corrections.  And, to be frank, he heard me.  We actually started to communicate about stopping and starting and … backing, which he hates.

Wrigley hates to back because it is so clearly a dominance thing when I ask him to back.  He didn’t want to yield to that.

So, I switched it up.  I had him follow me around while I scooped the remnant poops out of the arena.  I had the rope over my shoulder and he just had to watch where I was moving or he’d get stepped on – by me – as I was scooping and distributing.

After about 2 times of me scraping my boot along his leg, he figured out that I was moving and he’d better watch.

It worked.


DAY 4-7

We worked on him ‘doing what I do’ for a few days.  We went over rails and between rails, around barrels and we turned the water on and off – scooped more poop – basically, I did whatever I could to keep him learning how to watch me –  and for him to listen and pair the voice commands associated with each move.

We worked on me standing in front of him and asking for a ‘back’ or a ‘walk up’.

He did pretty well.  And, he was kinda cute.  Hmmmmmm.

I was beginning to like him.

"OK, this is weird but whatever..." He was beginning to trust.


Whatever gave me the idea to hide treats and go find them with Wrigley ought to be erased from my brain forever.

You see, previously, my other babies loved the game of finding the hidden treats!  They would follow me anywhere and then sniff out the goodie and then follow me to the next one.  It was fun and they loved the instant rewards.

Not Wrig.

He went treat-frenzied psychotic on me.  OMG.  It was like I was handing out horsey crack!

After the first hidden treat, he thought treats were behind every rock.  He thought treats grew out of thin air.  He wanted to plow over me to find the next one.  He didn’t understand any of that ‘follow the leader’ association with me leading him to the treats.


He was just going to FIND TREATS  like a crazy, 1000 lb cookie addict.

My bad.

I put him away and thought we’d start fresh the next day.

This is his flymask against the lens of my camera as he assaulted me for treats. Another Fail.


We were progressing rather slowly but well.  He was consistently giving up some of his dominance and I was being more consistent with my calm repetition and praise.  I didn’t get upset.  I reassured him often.

He was starting to grow on me – in a good way.

For example, he no longer barged forward when I was going into his pasture to get him.  He respected my space and he seemed happy to go do something with me.


Except he hated going around in a circle at the end of a rope.  He thinks this is ridiculous and I don’t really blame him.

I swear he has the perfect horsey look for, “Really?  Are you actually going to make me go around you in stoopid circles?”

We are still working on this.

I don't want to go in stoopid circles!



Right after that incident, we left for our family vacation.  So, Wrig had a week off to heal his wounded pride.

I did the same.


After a refreshing week, I was all motivated to start in again.

Wrig seemed happy to see me and not angry or upset about anything.  That was good.

We started in and … he had forgotten everything, almost.  Or else he was faking it well.  I’m not sure.

Anyway, we started all over and he did seem to suddenly remember once I brought out the long rope again – I had been practicing my rope/carrot stick mojo and I was becoming a Ninja.

I have forgotten everything you taught me...


Well, my good friend, Leslie Anne Webb, is an artist of renown.

But, what people don’t know is that she can sweet talk the rank out of a horse.  Not only that, she can get 18 hand draft horses to melt into a puddle when she whispers to them.

So, I called her in.

Sure!  She was very willing to help with “little” (compared to her big ol’ horses) Wrigley.

Leslie came and studied Wrig.  Wrig studied Leslie.  And then they started their dance.  One step forward, two steps back… da da dun dun dun, dadada daaa, dun dun dun da

I sat and watched.

I watched how he tried to size her up and challenge her.  I watched as she didn’t flinch and stood her ground.  I watched him test her without malice.  I watched her correct him without malice.

It was great for me to watch this.  I could see him from a different perspective.  Watching Leslie made me think about myself from another angle.

This was excellent!

Leslie said she’d come back every week to check up on our progress and to work with Wrig.  Gulp.  Another person to make sure I’m doing what I said I would do…

But do you know the best part?!  Wrigley thought her asking him to go in circles was equally as ridiculous as me asking him.


Alright already... OKOK...


So this week I have decided to work on the good cop/bad cop thing.  Leslie can be the bad cop.  Tee hee.

I have decided to go slowly and to play more fun games and oddball stuff with him.  I gave him a bath.  I brought him down the driveway to meet the Fed Ex guy.  I made him carry the mail back on his back.  I cleaned out the tack room with him in there so he had to move all around to get out of my way.  I taught him how to walk through the barn backwards.  I taught him how to go through the barn wheelbarrows backwards.  We sniffed the cat together (much to kitty’s chagrin) We continued to scoop poop together.  And, he is starting to really relax when we are in a training session.

This is Buff the Barnkitty. He was a good sport so I gave him extra rubs.


Today was the last day before this post, obviously.

We went to the arena and to warm up, I had him follow me around as I watered the plants and scooped the ever present youknowwhat.

As we began the regular training, I was a bit effusive with the compliments.  I had just watched the movie SECRETARIAT (it was playing in the background while I was working today) so I think I was overly emotional about big, red horses…

Anyway, we did the stop, back, follow.  We went backwards through poles.  I wrapped the rope around him and he turned when the rope tugged his halter.  He moved his hindquarters when I pointed to them.  His second to least favorite thing to do is move his shoulders over upon command… but he did it – both sides.

And yes, he did walk those stoopid circles around me.  Wrig made the “this is the stoopidest thing ever” face as he was going around.  And, he did try to stop every 3rd step, but he did it.

Atta boy, Wrig, atta boy.

And, for me, Atta Girl Momma, Atta Girl.

I cannot believe that I’m doing this and I cannot believe how my opinion of Wrigley has so vastly changed.


Lots of food for thought here.  As they say, train a horse and learn about yourself.


"Look how good I'm Whoaing!" He's starting to grow on me... He's pretty cute when he wants to be. ;)


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







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!