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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Today is the last day on the sale of Ferrell Hollow Farm's Natural Coat Spray. Spring is here–help your horse look it's best! It will remove dust, dander, sweat, grime, detangle, soften and make them shine. And they will smell wonderful too! Email cindy@ferrellhollowfarm.com. Visit our website at www.ferrellhollowfarm.com

I made a batch of Spring Herbal Blend for Francis–yummmmmy he said this morning 🙂

This is Dawn this afternoon, in her new day time turn-out lot. She has access to all the stall runs for shelter. Keeping her off of the grass should bring her Insulin levels down.
Dawn 3-24-10

More Hay Anyone?

This morning after the animals were fed, I headed out on a road trip due North–for more hay!  Just me in the pick up truck and my 16 foot long hay hauling trailer, driving 1 and a half hours from home (one way) to obtain what felt like was the last remaining bales of pure orchard grass hay in the state of TN.

We have fed a tremdous amount of hay to the horses here at Ferrell Hollow Farm this past year.  Not only have we had a very tough winter, but some of the residents are sensitive to the sugars and starches in the grass and must be maintained on a dry lot or diet paddock for much of the year.  Since they can not graze on the green grass as some of the others do, their diets are forage based in the form of flake hay, hay pellets, hay cubes and chopped hay.  So we feed a lot of hay!

I will admit a couple of things: I have spoiled the senior residents with only the best of forages, and they are picky eaters because of it.  They deserve the best that I can afford to feed them and I will search into the next state over if need be.  I drove thru 4 counties today!

We are coming into spring and the grass is sprouting and everything is greening up.  The horses are just now eating a bit less hay.  But I feed hay year round and it is 2 months until the first cutting.  I was down to my last week's worth of hay and calling all the ads and hay directory contacts I could find that advertised orchard.  One thing is apparent: a lot of people advertise Orchard only to find that it's an Orchard mix.  I'm not interested in a mix, I want Orchard!  So I found a family farmer who happened to have a bit left.  I drove a total of 3 hours today and got home with 66 bales of pure orchard–it's clean, weed-free, has nice color, is not moldy and I made a new hay contact in the process.

Will this load last me until the spring cutting?  Probably not–and that's why I have a back up plan if it doesn't! 🙂

Blood tests results are in and Dawn, a 27 y/o TWH must have some management changes due to her high insulin level. She is very sensitive to sugars and starches in the grass and will now be on the dry lot with hay at night and a modified diet paddock during the day.

Over the past 12 months, Ferrell Hollow Farm has maintained 10 horses and fed close to 1,000 bales of hay! An absolute record high!! And we will have to buy more to sustain us thru the next 2 months until the first cutting of 2010 is ready.

For one week only, I am selling Ferrell Hollow Farm's Natural Coat Spray at a discount: $20 (normally $22) for each 16 oz bottle + shipping (where applicable) . Email Cindy by 3/27/10 to take advantage of this offer: cindy@ferrellhollowfarm.com. See the blog post for more information and videos! http://ferrellhollowfarm.typepad.com/fhf-may-20-2009/2010/03/fhf-natural-coat-spray.html

FHF Natural Coat Spray

Ferrell Hollow Farm's Natural Horse Care line was developed out of a need for non-chemical products that actually worked.  All formulas are developed and tested by Cindy Daigre on the senior horses at our retirement farm.

Ferrell Hollow Farm's Natural Coat Spray is made using only pure grade essential oils and organic herbal products. Oils such as Lavender, Rosemary and Peppermint are blended in a base of witch hazel for a soothing and aromatic experience.  Sprigs of fresh herbs from the gardens of Ferrell Hollow Farm are also included in each bottle.

Natural Coat Spray is wonderful to brush off sweat and grime, condition the coat, soften dry manes and tails, soothe itchy skin and insect bites and leave them with a beautiful shine—and it smells great too!

See for yourself in these video links. 

Before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f08YGQP8r2k   After: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIw_533aGmc

If you are interested in purchasing this product, please email cindy@ferrellhollowfarm.com.

Paddock Tracking

The management of a horse diagnosed as Insulin Resistant (IR) can be somewhat of a challenge.  More often than not, these horses can not be allowed access to grassy pastures.  The sugar and starch in the grass can cause the horse to become overweight and even develop laminitis, which is inflammation in the feet.

A Dry Lot is a paddock which contains no grass.  The grass has either been killed off or the area has been resurfaced with sand or gravel.  Horses are free to roam the dry paddock and hay is placed in many areas to encourage the horse to move about as much as possible.

Grazing Muzzles are another way to allow a horse to be in a grassy paddock but control the amount of grass intake.  There is a hole in the bottom that the horse can drink from and grab blades of grass.  It significantly reduces the amount of grass that is consumed.

I have used both of these management practices in the care of Dawn, a 27 y/o TWH mare who is IR.  She is an easy keeper, meaning that she will gain weight if allowed to eat free choice as she wishes.  Today I decided to turn her paddock into a tracking system of sorts.  She has access to covered stalls that open to a paddock.  This winter she has been allowed to roam as she pleases thruout the paddock since the grass has been dormant.  However, spring is on it's way and green sprouts are beginning to emerge.  So her turnout situation must be changed.  Although she is retired and not asked to perform any kind of work, moving about the paddock is the most exercise she will have.  Unfortunately Dawn likes to stand around rather than be on the move.  Exercise is a very important part of keeping an Insulin Resistant horse healthy and trim. 

My solution for the time being was to fence her paddock in half, but leaving a wide path on each end.  This way she will be forced to move down the long side, around the corners in a track fashion and not be able to take a short cut across the paddock.  To entice her to actually use the paddock, her hay can be fed at various parts on the track.

Here are the photos from today.  We had to lure her around the track with a bucket of hay cubes and low sugar treats–and yes she really got a move on!!

http://s1023.photobucket.com/albums/af356/cdaigre/Paddock%20Tracking/?action=view&current=3751fba7.pbw

Here's a tip for those of you that are soaking meals for your horses (hay pellets, hay cubes, beet pulp or senior feed) : inexpensive shower caps will fit over 8 quart pails and 5 gallon buckets to keep the warmth in 🙂