My whole world is about treating Bonnie right now. I have studied laminitis and founder many times over the years and dealt with a few ponies that had foundered and needed rehabilitation. I was very successful in helping those ponies. But none have been so severe as Bonnie, except Chloe and she gave up the fight. So the amount of stress I have been feeling has been great… so great that I worried I may become laminitic!

I want to treat this as naturally as I can so have been reading books and websites, looking into Homeopathics and treating her with herbs and essential oils. One book that I have borrowed from a friend and have been studying is “Feed Your Horse Like A Horse” by Dr. Julie M. Getty. I have been an admirer of hers for years!

She talks about the importance of feeding your horse some kind of forage 24/7 and thoroughly goes over the way a horse digests and everything they need to be as healthy as they can be in her book. It’s well worth the money! She also has a lot of information about the laminitic, IR and Cushings horse. I came across this list and found it very interesting so wanted to share it here.

Common causes of laminitis:

  • Hormonal disorders such as PPID and insulin resistance
  • Elevated insulin
  • Obesity
  • Genetic prelaminitic syndrome
  • Overfeeding of grain and sugar from sweet feeds (carbohydrate overload)
  • Endotoxins released from the hindgut (leaky gut syndrome)
  • Grazing on pasture that is high in sugar/starch/fructan
  • Physical stress to the feet (concussion founder)
  • Injury to one limb, leading to laminitis in another foot
  • Retained placenta after foaling, resulting in a blood infection
  • Colic
  • Prolonged use of antibiotics or steroidal medications
  • Bedding that contains black walnut shavings
  • Selenosis (Selenium toxicity)
  • Iron overload (causes insulin resistance!!!!)
  • Mental stress (leading to elevated cortisol levels)
  • Forage restrictions
  • Rhabdomyolysis (tying up)
  • Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Toxic plants

I know that this started when Bonnie was out on the field in December, but after going over this list I think she was a ticking time bomb. I am so grateful to have so much information at my fingertips but can feel overwhelmed sometimes. I think there were several factors that lined up perfectly on that winter day and tipped her over the edge. And the acute laminitis episode that we are dealing with now was caused by the vaccinations overloading her already toxic body. I am so so thankful for my three other healthy ponies!

 

For the last three days Bonnie has laid either in her shed or just in front of it in the nice deep sawdust bed I made her outside of the shed. After being on her feet all day on Sunday, at the Nutrition Clinic, she was just plain worn out. And sore. On Tuesday I had my favorite equine body worker come out and do some adjusting to make her feel a bit better in her body. If only we could adjust some spots and do some energy work on her feet and have such an immediate change! She felt so much better after the body work in her back, shoulders and hips. It was obvious. Not only because she looked more relaxed, her attitude changed on Tuesday as well. After the body work she was brighter and more awake than she had been on Monday.

Bonnie in her styrofoam boots. - www.theessentialhorse.com

This morning when I went out to feed at 6 am Bonnie was standing outside of the shed, on the opposite side of the pen from the shed, eating hay with Sky! So she walked a little distance. It made me so happy to see that, and to hear her nicker and nicker a greeting. Of course every day that she was laying down she would nicker and nicker and I would set her hay and her Crypto Aero right in front of her so she didn’t have to stand. I also gave her a bucket of water for when she wasn’t in the shed. I didn’t want her to have to work very hard for a few days, as she rested and healed.

Today since she was up, I gave her a quick little rasp on her heels and brought her toes back a bit. In order to do that I had to work fast because standing on three feet is hard for her. Last week I found a video on YouTube of a farrier applying styrofoam boots to the front feet of a very sore laminitic horse. It seemed to bring a level of comfort that I had been looking for, so I bought some styrofoam last week and just set it aside… in case I needed it!

Today I went ahead and applied them to her feet. The difference was immediate. Once I applied the 1″ styrofoam to the foot I was working on and set it down she immediately shifted all her weight to that foot, which previously was so sore she couldn’t stand with all her weight on it at all! So I was able to clean and rasp the other foot and apply the styrofoam boot to that foot as well.

styrofoam and duct tape boots - www.theessentialhorse.com
Styrofoam and duct tape boots!

Then we took a short walk to get the blood moving.

Horses that have become laminitic because of IR are a bit different than a horse that is laminitic from grass and does NOT have IR. IR horses have constricted blood vessels in the hoof instead of too much blood pumping, inflammation and heat as in a regular laminitic episode. So having her walk around is a good thing in this case as it will help get the blood moving. In a regular laminitic case you don’t want to move the horse much during the acute stage as you can cause further tearing of the hoof wall from the laminae. In Bonnie’s case there is no heat in her foot, no digital pulse, very little to no bruising of the sole and no stretching of the white line. I thought that was so interesting!

I should get my California Trace tomorrow and can’t wait to get her on that. I have also ordered the Milk Thistle seeds so will keep you updated. I know we still have a long road ahead, but every little victory counts! So having her want to be a little mobile today felt so good! Maybe I’ll sleep tonight…

Oh boy you guys!! This clinic with Dr. Madalyn Ward was awesome!! If you would like to read more about her you can go HERE.  Dr. Ward has two really wonderful websites absolutely bursting with information. She also does consultations!

She talks a lot about the Five Elements of the Temperament and Health of your horse and even has several books about the elements. I didn’t get very much time to read about those yet, so I won’t say anything else about them. But I am very interested in the psychology of horses so I do plan on getting her books! And am tossing around the idea of taking one of her online temperament typing clinics.

I am going to focus on a few things I learned or re-learned yesterday, her evaluation of Bonnie and how to read a hay analysis in this post.

Most of us know how important the good bacteria in the gut, small intestine and large intestine are. Something that I think many of us don’t realize is how susceptible that bacteria is to toxins and what exactly a toxin is! Toxins can be vaccinations, wormers (especially the daily wormers!! Please stop feeding these if you are…) Round Up, fertilizers, etc. The list could really go on and on and on.

Bonnie’s acute founder can really be traced back to the vaccination I had done two weeks ago. The reason it sent her into the acute founder is because she was already compromised – she hadn’t fully healed from the previous, grass induced founder. So the vaccination sent her over the edge as her body could not cope with the toxins in the vaccination. I can not remember all the sciency language here, but basically the disease is not the only thing in a vaccination. The ‘binders’ as I call them, can be anything from formaldehyde to mercury. These are poisons. Horses that are compromised can not clean these toxins out of their bodies. Dr. Ward said in the beginning of her veterinarian career she talked many people into vaccinating their horses for anything and everything, thinking she was protecting those horses, when in fact all that vaccinating made many horses chronically ill. I will say that I am not a big believer in vaccinations. If you have read much on my site here you will see that. I do all I can to help my horse stay healthy throughout the vaccination process if I HAVE to vaccinate due to barn rules, traveling across state lines, or showing. I do not show anymore and do very little traveling so don’t vaccinate my horses. I don’t think Captain has ever been vaccinated, Sky was last vaccinated for a show many many years ago and Zorro has never been vaccinated. They are healthy happy ponies. Bonnie has been vaccinated and she is suffering. That’s all the proof I need.

Hay that has been heavily fertilized will have toxins in it, weed free hay will have toxins in it as the farmer/rancher has probably sprayed with a weed killer. These toxins are not safe for horses that are compromised in any way and can cause a healthy horse to become compromised. Educating our farmers/ranches is key in helping our horses eat as clean as they can. We understand the importance of healthy, clean eating for ourselves, it’s equally as important for our horses.

Now what do these toxins do in the horse’s body? They run around killing the good bacteria in the stomach, the small intestine and the large intestine. When that happens you end up with free radicals. Free radicals run around destroying the healthy cells. They have now linked Cushings disease with free radical damage to the BRAIN. Yes. Free radicals run around the body killing healthy cells, including BRAIN cells. This is irreversible damage. Brain damage.

Another thing that will mess with the good bacteria in the gut is feeding too much starch. The small intestine is where the starch is digested. That is where the starch digesting bacteria lives. When a horse is fed a heavy load of starches, through grain or hay or pelleted feeds, the small intestine can not handle the load so it will send it onto the Cecum. The cecum is a fermentation vat full of fiber digesting bacteria. BUT when large amounts of starch are constantly dumped into the cecum the bacteria will change. The bacteria will become starch digesting bacteria. If that happens the horse can not properly digest fiber, which will cause it to lose weight, get ulcers, and lose their bloom. Each step of the digestive process is very important. If even one part of it isn’t working correctly it will greatly effect the health of the horse.

Feeding your horse a good foundation nutrition is very important. Having your hay tested, feeding whole foods and balancing with any vitamins and minerals will help your horse be it’s best. Too many people over supplement their horses which is actually HARMING the horse. We are literally loving our horses to death. They need just the basics and very little of that if you are feeding whole foods.

I have to bring up Crypto Aero Wholefood horse feed again here! Dr. Ward loved this feed. She went through the ingredients with us and explained how important each ingredient is. I shared with her and the group that when Bonnie foundered in December, if I missed even one feeding of the Crypto Aero, Bonnie would be more lame than before, they were amazed. The Crypto kept her mobile through that episode! Dr. Ward explained that even though there are oats in it, there are so many wonderful WHOLEFOOD ingredients that the oats didn’t matter!

Soap Box – I’m going to rant right here: It’s amazing how important whole foods are. To put it simply, our horses can not utilize man made, chemical ingredients. Neither can we, though people refuse to understand that or listen. Let me tell you something… our government, the FDA, wants us to be unhealthy. They want us to be sick, have cancer, have chronic illnesses as this drives the drug companies. And we all know the drug companies OWN the United States. If we know this then why do we continue to put all the crap that they tell us is “good for us” in our bodies? Or in our horse’s bodies? Many GMO foods are modified with Round Up right in the seed. We know this. I have farmers in my family and one of them is a seed dealer and he will brag up and down about the POISON in the seed. Round Up in the seed of the plant. Wheat, soy, barley, corn many of these seeds, sometimes all of these seeds are now GMO. Much of the beet pulp available is now GMO. (Don’t get me started on beet pulp!!! LOL!) GMO means toxins. This is not clean eating. Many of our feed companies are using GMO in their feeds because that is all that is available and that is killing our horses, slowly but surely. Please understand that feeding pelleted feeds from traditional feed companies is not clean eating. These feeds are not whole foods. Sure they will make your horse shiny, but a shiny horse does not necessarily equal a healthy horse.

Okay. Now we all know that stress really has negative effects on our bodies. It also really effects our horses and how they digest their food. When a horse is in the Sympathetic state it is in fight or flight mode. If a horse is thrown into this state while eating one of two things can happen – if they can’t calm down and go into the Parasympathetic state, or left brain, calm, thinking state – either their gut will completely shut down the digestion process, or their body will force the food out as quickly as possible missing the steps of digestion. So if you have a very nervous, stressed horse it is rarely, if ever, getting the nutrients it needs from it’s food. Interesting right!? I won’t go into further detail about this now, but will share more later about how you can help your nervous horse.

Bonnie’s evaluation: Dr. Ward is pretty sure that Bonnie is IR (Insulin Resistant) based on her body, the way the fat (what little she has) lays on her shoulders and neck. She put her hands all over her and though Bonnie isn’t wild about people touching her she stood like a champ! Dr. Ward found some swelling or edema on top of Bonnie’s hips, right over her kidneys. She did another test which involves seeing if the horse can lift it’s spine or move the ribs to the right and the left, Bonnie could not lift her ribs and could only move her ribs a small amount to the left. This told Dr. Ward that she has toxin build up in her liver and her kidneys. This explains why she was so sensitive to the toxins in the vaccinations!! I don’t know if she came from a toxin heavy environment, but I suspect so. Fertilizer, weed spray, those pelleted feeds with GMO’s… all would contribute to toxins building in her body. (Some horses can not clean their bodies of toxins as well as others. Of course I would get a horse that has a hard time doing this. So do I!! I have to be very careful what kind of shampoo and lotion I use. I can’t eat many different kinds of food and am very sensitive to supplements.)  We don’t fertilize, or spray for weeds and I put her on the Crypto as soon as she got here, combine that with all the exercise we got last year and that explains why she was able to stay sound and relatively healthy last year. With a little tweaking to my foundation nutrition program I know she can be healthy again! Dr. Ward wants to me start her on some Milk Thistle seeds, 2 tsp a day, to address the toxin build up. After going over my hay analysis she also wants to me to balance with some California Trace.

Hay analysis: Dr. Ward was very happy with my hay. Here is my analysis…

Hay Analysis - www.theessentialhorse.com

The first column with the big red arrow pointing to it is the column you read. These are the numbers that matter. So first of all the protein is awesome. For a horse with IR the protein should be below 10%. Whoot whoot!! Next, my simple sugars and starches are excellent. When added together you want them to be below 10% as well and added together mine are about 6.5%! Whoot whoot!! Then the calcium/phosphorus should be 1:1 or 2:1 and mine is about 2:1, so that’s good. The magnesium is low, but I have been supplementing with magnesium for some time now so she said that was good! Next was the iron. I knew this was a high number. Dr. Ward said she has seen this number be as high as 600!! Hay with that much iron can’t be fed to horses as there is no way to balance with zinc and copper. Your Iron/zinc should be no more than 5 times more iron than zinc. Mine is much higher!  The Copper/Zinc/Manganese — should be close to 1:3:3. So to help balance these minerals since they are SO out of whack she wants me to supplement with the California Trace. When I get more hay I will have to have another hay analysis done so I can adjust my supplements again. Sigh. I know I will not be so lucky as to find hay like this again!

In case you missed the story… I found my hay on Craigslist. The ad said it got rained on in the field but was kept dry and under a tarp. I called the farmer to make sure it was rained on after cutting and before baling and it was! I ran straight over to take a look. It looked really good. Not dusty and no mold. He had 8 tons and wanted $75 a ton for it. I told him I would take 4 tons! It took us two trips to get the 4 tons and while we were loading the second load, the farmer pulled up and said he hadn’t had any interest in the hay so if I wanted the other 4 tons he would sell it all to me for $100!! That was $25 a ton!! I was floored and so so grateful. I thanked him profusely while all three of my boys groaned at the thought of loading and unloading 4 more tons of hay! Because this hay was cut and then thoroughly rained on the sugars were washed out of it. If only I could set this up to happen every year! I’m not sure what time of day he cuts his hay, but based on this analysis I would say he cuts in the morning. Smart farmer! I am going to call him and let him know how much Dr. Ward loved his hay and let him know if he has any rained on again this year I would love to put my name on it!!

So that’s the long and the short of it! There is so much more I could go into but this post is over 2000 words, if you’ve made it this far you must be a nutrition nerd like me!! (and thank you for sticking with me!) There was so much information flying around yesterday. I tried to soak up as much as I could, grateful that Dr. Ward is only an email or a phone call away. She was such a kind, caring person. I enjoyed learning from her and look forward to years of working with her!

And I want to give a BIG shout out to Crypto Aero and Anna, who came up with this awesome feed! Thank you Thank you!!!

Today. Was. AWESOME!!! I had a busy day, running to town, then walking the dogs (we walked 4 miles!) then working on Bonnie, oiling and massaging her, trying to help her manage the pain, then harnessing Sky and driving down the road!!! She was so ready for this. She has been wanting to just put her head down and trot from some time now. Both of us were so happy!

SO happy!!

I didn’t want to ask her to do something that was unfair at this early stage, so I didn’t drive her for very long and we stayed on the flat part of the road, driving back and forth in front of my house, past our driveway. She would trot very fast whenever we were turned towards our driveway so we have some barn sour stuff to work through. But I was thinking about it and I don’t think my mom ever drove her alone! I think we always drove together. So Sky is a bit unconfident when it’s just her out there. She definitely likes it more when Bonnie is with us. Hopefully Bonnie will heal up soon so she can join us!

We are going to work up to driving down to my neighbors house this week and next week. We will have to drive past some horses that Sky has only seen once and then down their driveway with 4 big dogs, 3 miniature horses and about 30 chickens, ducks, and geese! So I want her a bit more confident before we tackle THAT!!

My set up! Those tires are wonderful. We have some rough country with sage bushes and big rocks so I’m thrilled with the spokes and the big, wide tires. Big tires make the cart easier to pull! I am really looking forward to getting the sliding back band with a tree from Comfy fit harness as well.

I love love my curved shafts! I love how they help balance the cart. I love that they make the shaft loops sit at a certain spot making it so they don’t slide forward and back and the best part is when Sky turns her head to visit with me her rein doesn’t get hung up on the end of the shaft!! Also when turning the shaft ends do not interfere with her shoulder at all. When we are a bit smoother I will video that for you! I have a few adjustments to make with the shaft loops but everything seemed to work together very well today.

Sky is such a pretty, smart girl. We were both pretty proud of ourselves today!

 

**Remember to always use Therapeutic Essential Oils when working on animals!!

Animals respond to essential oils in much the same way as humans. Most animals are more sensitive to the effects of essential oils than humans and often seem to have a natural affinity to the healing influence of the oils.  – Essential Oils Desk Reference

Many people believe that the hair keeps the oils from reaching the skin when applying the oils topically. But actually the more hair follicles the more easily the animal can absorb the oils!

Animal sensitivity to essential oils may be due to the density of hair follicles on a particular animal. The more follicles per square inch of skin, the more enhanced the absorption of essential oils.   – Essential Oils Desk Reference

It’s best to start with small amounts of the oil or oils you are working with and then work up to more. Horses absorb the oils very efficiently so it’s best to apply a few oils and then give them a bit of time to work before applying more. You can apply the oils topically along the spine, on the poll, or on the hoof.

Rubbing oils around the coronet band will allow the oils to reach the bloodstream and travel through the nerves in the legs to the spine. – Essential Oils Desk Reference

Often when you offer a horse an oil they will smell it, sometimes deeply. Other times they will turn their head away. This does not mean they don’t need the oil it can mean the smell is new or unfamiliar and they just need to get used to it. If the reaction is more dramatic or you really feel the horse doesn’t like the oil, then choose a different one to use. There are many different oils that will help in similar ways. Oils are absorbed into the bloodstream even through inhalation, so they will benefit from just smelling them. This is especially helpful when working with a horse that doesn’t like to be touched.

There is no right or wrong way to apply essential oils. Every animal is a little different. Use common sense and good judgement as you experiment with different methods. Observe carefully how the animal responds to the treatment.  – Essential Oil Desk Reference

As usual, if you have any questions you can either leave a comment below or email me!

How fast do oils work?

A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles. - Tim Cahill

While the weather outside is frigid, freezing and many days, howling with wind, I sit inside and think about my 2017 journey – what I want to accomplish, how I want it to feel, how I want my horses to feel. Some days I feel completely overwhelmed with just the thought of what I want to have happen in 2017. Then I remember that I need to stay calm and centered and do as much as I can without sacrificing the relationship I am searching to have with my horses.

I always want my horses to come running when they see me. I always want my horses to be my friends. I always want my horses to be friendly and confident when in my presence. In this way we can accomplish so much!!

I see Sky and myself driving many miles on the roads and trails this summer. I see the girls and I enjoying a lot of hiking – even if I have to drag my two human boys along kicking and screaming! I see Zorro growing into a handsome young stallion and continuing to have nice manners and a curious nature. I see Captain Planet as my farm mascot, greeting new people and being very gentle and understanding with children. I see Bonnie getting super confident in harness and while dragging different things behind her.

I see helping my friends and neighbors begin to enjoy driving their horses as well. Then I see getting together with friends and neighbors for group driving days!

I know my grandparents are feeling overwhelmed with their 4 miniature horses so I am prepared to have them come to live with me. I will not be keeping them all but I do plan on training a couple of them to drive so I can find great homes for them! And I know that I may not be able to do all of this in 2017, but will do as much as I can. I am prepared to forgive myself if I can’t keep up with everything and have to ask for help. (I may have to bookmark this post and keep re-reading it so I remember to ask for help!)

I see letting go of 2016 completely so I can move on in 2017 with joy, light and laughter!

Welcome 2017!

Every year I sit down and go back over the previous year. I think about what I want to make happen in the new year and settle on a “Word of the Year.” In 2015 my word was Inspire. I spent that year really making head way with Billy, riding him on the trails and going to Colorado for a week long Level 3 Freestyle/Bridleless course. It was a fantastic spring/summer!! Even if I did break my arm on April 1st.

billyandi

Then I had my confidence shaken while riding, in September and broke my other arm. Though I didn’t need surgery this time, it really broke my heart. I thought I wasn’t worthy of horse ownership. I cried. A lot. That was a difficult winter. So when I sat down to look at the past year and come up with a new word I was searching for peace, harmony and contentment. My word for 2016 was Calm. I was needing to spend some time getting centered again.

SONY DSC
Calm: a state of tranquility

I read lots of books that would help me figure out a few things. I spent lots of undemanding time with Billy and I knew that I wasn’t going to ride anymore. It was a bit of a struggle to admit that to myself, but I wasn’t enjoying riding. I was worried and tense and scared most of the time I was sitting on Billy. Trying to find my Calm while feeling so tense and scared was difficult.

On top of those feelings I had to balance my family. I homeschool my two boys, neither of which are even remotely interested in horses, and try to keep my hubby happy, knowing he doesn’t like horses. At all. My two accidents put a dent in my ability to homeschool, do my housework, cook and clean AND spend time with Billy. Not to mention bring in a small amount of money every month to PAY for my horse addiction. Things were not working out. My hubby was upset with me and we fought. A lot. I made the extremely difficult decision to find Billy a better home with someone confident and fun and understanding. He needs LOTS of understanding. He is definitely a one-of-a-kind horse.

Choosing to let Billy go to someone who would ride him was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made – and I have sold and re-homed horses many times over the years. Billy was one of my heart horses. Luckily I am not the type of person who believes we only get one heart horse in our lifetime. In fact I have had 7 heart horses so far and believe I have one or two standing out in my pasture right now. However, Billy was a very special boy.

billysmilecollage
Billy would lay down on command and was well known for his funny faces.

Billy wasn’t happy just being a pet and because he was so young, only 5 years old, I knew he would thrive with someone that would ride him. He found a wonderful home up in the mountains at a guest ranch. The owners of the ranch are kind, compassionate people. When they met Billy and he put his big old head on them they wrapped their arms around it and gave him big hugs. The wife had a pocket full of cookies for him. They are both the real deal and thought Billy was just about the neatest horse they had ever met! He would have lots of horse friends at the ranch and there would be lots to do and see. There would be no chance of him getting bored. I made it a point of delivering him to his new home so I could see him settle in. They were very impressed when we pulled up with my tiny two horse trailer. (In order to shut the door Billy would have to stick his head out the front window!!) Billy was so good. When I opened the back door of the trailer he waited patiently for me to ask him out. Then he stepped out slowly, one foot at a time, calmly looked around and then walked quietly to the arena. The arena is surrounded by big dry lot pens full of horses and Billy’s eyes were WIDE open taking it all in. We walked around a bit and I showed them a few of his talents, including laying down on command, then I let him go and he went around making friends. He immediately befriended a horse that usually doesn’t like ANY horses. Within a few minutes they were sharing a mutual groom over the fence. His new owners were amazed!

When we drove away I was crying, but Billy didn’t even look for me as I left. Before he would follow my vehicle, whinnying, if I left him anywhere. I had a good feeling about this home.

I kept in touch all summer but couldn’t bring myself to go see him. Every time I thought about it I would cry so I figured it was better for both him and myself to let him go. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I’m sure when my boys leave for the military or college I will feel the same way.

I ended up being very surprised at the people that no longer wanted anything to do with me after I found another home for Billy. First the loss of Billy then the loss of some of my “friends” was almost too much. So many times I wanted to walk away from this blog and delete Facebook all together. I can’t say why I didn’t.

I think watching me feel so heartbroken was hard for my Hubby – after the initial anger he felt because I feel the need to have a horse. He watched me struggle for a bit and then casually mentioned miniature horses one day while we were out fixing fence. (One of the many reasons he doesn’t like horses!) I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that myself! I had been dreading the idea of living without horses. (Something I am NOT good at!) And I had never stopped missing my minis.

So…

He opens a window.
When God closes a door he opens a window.

I called my Mom to tell her my great idea of getting minis again and she offered me her two minis, Sky and Zorro! My good friend Katrina offered me back Captain Planet and walla! I was the proud owner of miniature horses again.

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Sky and Zorro arrive!

I found Bonnie for sale on Facebook (good thing I didn’t delete it!) and soon I was the proud owner of 4 miniature horses!

The ponies and ME!
The ponies and ME!

My mom also gave me her little show cart and Sky’s harness. I have spent some time upgrading parts of the harness and also bought a little easy entry cart. This winter I bought a gaming sled and had an attachment built so I can put my easy entry cart shafts on it. This way I can enjoy some sledding with my ponies! I am looking forward to lots of hours in the cart and sled this 2017.

bridlecollagecart2SONY DSC

Other things I have gathered over the summer and fall are a miniature horse Hoofjack, mini horse Easyboots and a pair of miniature horse Cavallo boots! Miniature things are so cute.

I came across an awesome wholefood horse feed this year as well. I was thrilled to have a local feed store agree to order some and begin carrying it. My ponies have flourished on it!

All four miniature horses after eating Crypto Aero Wholefood.
All four miniature horses after eating Crypto Aero Wholefood.

The girls and I did a lot of hiking and walking this year. Until my health made it too painful for me… This fall we didn’t get out as often as I would have liked!

fullsizerender

I have been struggling with some different issues for the last few years. This was my “Year of the Doctor” and I found out I needed to have a full hysterectomy. I was scared but also hopeful! Scared to have that much of my body removed, but hopeful that I would have energy, no more pain and be able to resume my walking! So for the month of November and much of December I recovered from surgery. It really cut into my time with my ponies, but allowed me to work on my website/blog. Many changes happened around here during that time. Hopefully they were all good!

I love making graphics. So I started making lots and lots of graphics for my website:

And I have made lots of Young Living graphics too:

Someday maybe I’ll make money doing this! I really enjoy blogging, photography and graphic design.

I have been thinking about the year 2017 and what I would like to make happen. I will get Sky going in harness again and we will spend some time sledding around the fields and driving on the roads, getting ready for some mountain driving this summer. I am even kicking around the idea of another driving book, this one centered around sledding and mountain driving. I am going to start Bonnie ground driving and wearing the harness, going slowly with her so she is confident. It’s important to me that she enjoy the process so she can enjoy driving! I’m going to keep watching Zorro grow up. He is getting so handsome! One of my grandma’s little mares is bred for an early summer foal, so I am looking forward to that baby. It will be a half sibling to Zorro.

So back to my “Word of the Year” – I’ve put a lot of thought into it… After lots of deliberation, doodling, jotting down notes and making a word map, I have settled on the word MOXIE. Moxie resonated with me in two ways. It made me feel energized about the year ahead and made me feel excited about learning even more about horsemanship, horses and driving!

My word of the year!
My word of the year!

I am very excited about 2017. I see many great things happening in the next year and I plan to meet it with lots of vigor and pep!

If you feel moved to do so, please share your word of the year in the comments below!