Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making your own Slow Feeder for a Round Bale

This is Classy in his winter woolies.

My gelding, Classy, is a pig.  When I roll a round bale out into his paddock in the winter time, he digs, throws hay, pees and poops on it.  He's looking for the tiny bit of alfalfa that is in the bale and tosses the rest.  This is beautiful hay!  His waste costs me a lot of money and if anyone knows me, I hate waste!

So in my own special frugal way.  I started searching the internet for prices of nets for round bales.  If you are not interested in saving money or spending time making one yourself, there are a lot of great resources out there for nets.  But, I don't like to spend a lot of money on something that I can do myself.  So, I did some searching on eBay and found someone in Seattle selling used commercial fishing nets.  Here is the seller that I purchased from:

I purchased a 7' by 20' net.  Each square is about 1 1/2".   They sell for around $50 or less.  The bale that I purchase is close to 1,000 lbs and it's about 5' tall.  They are big bales.

I found this YouTube video on how to do your own Round Bale Feeder, it really helped a lot:

The day that I got my bale, I was sick.  So we rolled it into the paddock and I went and laid down.  Here is the start of my gelding's work.

When I started to feel a little better, I came out and draped the net over the bale, to see how it would work.

Get a nice long rope.  I used a poly cord rope.  I think I got about 50', it was prepackaged from the hardware store.   String the rope through the edge of your netting and pull tight.  You can either tie it off or add clips to make it a little easier to undo.

Like I said earlier.  I was sick this week and had no energy to do this net up correctly.  It was also my first time.  So, without any energy or assistance, I really screwed up.  And this is what I found the next day.  Classy was able to lift up my shoddy work and tear the bale apart.  

Seriously, this was one horse, one single night.  

He is a pig.

So the next time I went and got a bale, I was feeling fine and I got a bit of help from my son.  We were able to roll the bale onto the net, I gathered up the remaining net and wrapped rope around the wad to secure it.  I tightened up the edges, with the rope that was weaved through the edges of the net.  I did this on both sides, a little at a time.  And this is it, over a week later, still together, not a mess.

At this point, I am not sure how long this bale will last with just one horse.  Previously when he was being a pig, they would last about 3 weeks.  I have high hopes that this will last longer.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Destination HVN

I wrote this for my friend, Janet Berry.  We lost her suddenly last week.  This was written the morning of her funeral, I wish I could of read it at her service but I lacked courage and it was on my cell which I left in my car out of respect.

Anyone is welcome to share this.  I hope it helps family and friends of airline employees heal in this time of great sorrow.


Today our friend, Janet Berry, is going to have a great celebration.  She's boarding that jet to destination HVN.  No stand by on this one, JB, you get a comfortable First Class seat with plenty of leg room.  No crying babies, no children kicking your seat, no nervous seat mates or second-seaters squishing you into the wall.  Everyone is joyous and the feeling of love is AMAZING, on this jet.  In fact, the flight attendants are real Angels.

I hear that Heaven (HVN) is beautiful and at the arrival gate there are lots of family and friends that are waiting for your arrival.  There will be lots of hugs at that gate.  God has prepared a special place for you, my friend.

We are going to celebrate your flight today and I will see you at that arrival gate in HVN someday.  We love you!  Enjoy your flight!

By: Alisa Bicandi / GEG

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little Darlin

Little Darlin came into my life last Summer.  I went out to the Stockland Horse Sale in Davenport, Washington, just to watch and see what was going through.  I sat with a friend, watched the horses.  I walked in the back pens and found 4 mini horses.  No information posted.  One was a stud, one mare and foal and one single mare.  I went in with the single mare, she was stand-off ish and not interested in me.   Her hooves were long and elf like.

Darlin at the auction
Her hooves were neglected and way too long.

So, I made the decision to bid on her.  I ended up paying $100 for her.  Not much for a registered AMHR miniature mare.  Next decision was how to get her home.  I had to go home and get the horse trailer.  When I returned to get her, I felt really bad.  They were loading horses up for the feedlot (slaughter), packing them tight in a stock trailer.  Here I had this teeny mini horse in a spacious two horse slant load. I wished I could of taken one of the other horses from that cramped trailer but, I was going to have enough trouble from my husband.
Darlin's first day at her new home with us

It's May now, it's taken Darlin quite a while to settle and get friendly with me.  We are starting to bond and her hooves are coming around.  I've done all her hoof trimming myself.  Our big plan for the summer is to enter our first SASHA (Spokane Area Small Horse Association) show.
Darlin's hooves in less than a year
Pretty Little Darlin

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dressage 101

Yesterday, I had my first official Dressage lesson on my own horse.  A little background here, I've had my horse for 21 years now.  I trained him.  So, needless to say, he's had no formal training and he's old (as well as me).  I wasn't sure what to expect of him, but he surprised me.

First we worked on guiding and staying on a 4" path.  Basically, finding a focal point, and following it.  If something grabbed his attention, we changed directions (90 degree turn or less) and found a new focal point.  After a couple of these, he was really getting it.  First at a walk, then trot.  Next we worked on transitions, using the same exercise.   Finding a focal point, trot to it, change directions, walk to the next, find the next and trot again.  Finally we graduated to a canter.  Here is the thing, I rarely can sit his canter, it's so elevated and it throws me from the saddle.  I'm sure it has to do with collection and training.  Plus he prefers a right lead over the left.  I know that most horses do have a preferred side to them, just as humans do.  In order to get him to take the correct lead, it takes a lot of preparation and position and throwing my weight.  It's certainly something that we need to work on!

In this first lesson, I used my English bridle, but I rode with my Fallis Balanced Ride western saddle.  I have an old Wintec English saddle, but I just didn't want to try that with the first lesson.  I'm hoping by the end of summer, I can find a decent Dressage saddle for us.

My goal is to ride a Dressage test in a schooling show.  I know that I will be a nervous mess, but I am sure I will enjoy it.  I was nervous about this riding lesson!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Sometimes I feel like any comment that I want to make on Facebook is something very negative.  For example, a horse rescue that is also breeding horses.  I feel this is immoral.  The amount of unwanted horses out there and yet, there are people out there creating more?  Boy, just visit the Fugly Horse of the Day and few times and you'll find all kinds of immoral breeders/rescuers out there.

Also when I see horses for sale.  When a person claims the horse is a finished show horse, and yet their photos show a mangy looking horse in cheap Mexican made western tack.  If it's a finished show horse, your probably going to be showing some major win photos and your horse is going to be decked out.  If it's a 4H show horse who does well, say it!  4H is a different caliber than the Breed Show world.

In no way, am I a perfect person.  I've made stupid decisions and I will continue to make stupid decisions.  I will claim that right.  However, I am also not out there claiming to be the authority or a professional.  I have owned horses for over 30 years, yes part of that lifetime my parents helped me with the horses.  However, much of that time has been spent on educating and studying to understand horses, feeding, training and general hoof care.  My parents would always roll their eyes when I'd come into the house with something different that my horses needed.... such a a teeth float for my older mare.  Thankfully they complied with my wishes, or I was able to earn money to pay for the things I needed.

Last rant of the day... Craigslist.  IF IT'S BEEN SOLD, REMOVE YOUR AD!  omg.... enough said.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Friends and Good Horses

There is not much better than good horses and good friends.  Today, I had both.  Three friends joined me for riding on the ranch.  Of the four horses on the trail, two had cattle experience and two had not.  We don't bother the cattle, but it's good for the horses to see them and smell them.  I rode Classy out on the trail.  He was so good.  Yesterday, we rode with the bareback pad around the ranch, so Classy was pretty calm and easy going today.  He's a good ride, when you use him the day prior.

At one point, I made everyone cross a wet field.  I had thought that it was going to be dry and instead we found mud and muck.  One of the horses wasn't pleased with this.  Classy was fine, and I was surprised.  Later on, I did a little water work with Classy and Alexa and Fox.  Classy was hesitant but eventually went for it.  I had him stand in the water, he played a little bit in it.  It was fun.

Playing in the water reminds me of the summers with my friend, Mary.  We found a pond on a back road that wasn't developed.  The pond crossed the gravel road, so we would gallop our ponies bareback through the pond.  It was soooooo much fun!  Good memories.  I miss those days of riding bareback and dreaming on horseback.

Later on, I played with Freckles a bit.  She was not wanting to let me catch her.  She kept walking off.  So, I persisted and eventually we met up.  I like her a lot.  She gives up easily.  I haltered her and then just remained in the pasture working on weaving between trees and walking over poles.  Even had her backing between the poles.  She is just a good, good girl and seems to get things fairly quickly without a fight.  I've been pondering sending her to a trainer, but then I come back to the fact that I don't always agree with what people do with training horses and maybe I should just suck it up and do it.  Truthfully, I've done it before.  Several times.  I still have Classy, after 19 years and he's doing well.  He had a good mind to start out with and I think Freckles is the same.  She's a sweetheart, my little Freckle Face.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Down One Floor Please

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out the trimming tools.  Classy needed to be dropped one level.  He was just trimmed about 4 weeks ago, but has already had a major amount of growth.

Here are some photos from our trimming session.  I also started treatment on thrush using Pete Ramey's remedy which is posted on his website.

Here is the whole photo album, I'm just going to post a sampling here.

The following photos are Classy's left front hoof.

(Above Photo)
Left Front Hoof Before - just cleaned.  Lots of crumbly, chalky sole.

(Above Photo)
Sole cleaned, bars cut down and ready for the grinder

Left Front After  
(Above Photo)
Hoof walls brought back down and "mustang roll" attempted

This is what is going on behind me 
I did the trim in the pasture.  I wanted Freckles to hear and smell the grinder.  Since she hasn't experienced it yet, I wanted her to get a good idea and feeling from it.  I wanted her to see that Classy stands quiet and just lets me work and that there is nothing scary about the process.  She spent a lot of time, sniffing and nuzzling both me and Classy.   She's such a sweetheart.

I use an Angle grinder most of the time to trim down the hooves.  It works great and doesn't take much work to get your horse comfortable with it.  There are lots of videos that demo this method of trimming..

You can also check out the following Yahoo Group:

I'm not a professional and I know there is a lot to learn.  My technique could use a lot of fine tuning.  But, I though I would share my hoof trimming with you today.

Happy Trails and Stay Sound!