Sweet Tips for Safety

You know what I always say … Safety First! Okay, I don’t always say that, but I think it’s a great motto to live by; in fact, maybe I SHOULD be saying it more. It’s important that everyone is safe in the barn; because, I’m going to quote my momma now, “it’s all fun and games until someone losses an eye!”

So, in honor of my momma, I’m going to give you a few of my favorite barn safety tips:

– Make sure that you store your hay in a well-ventilated area, ideally storing it in a separate building away from the barn. Unless you want to store it all in my stall, that works too, I’ll keep it niiiiiice and safe for you.

– No smoking please! Not only does it smell all kinds of stinky, it is a huge fire threat and diminishes the air quality.

– Keep the grain sealed in a rodent and horse proof container. Because, listen, I don’t like to share my grain with anybody! Also, rodents can carry some nasty diseases that I’m not too interested in being a part of.

–  Make sure you have a landline phone in the barn. Just in case you know… cell phones aren’t perfect. Batteries die, signals drop, sometimes they go missing… and my person tells me her phone doesn’t work well when it ends up under my hooves. A landline ensures you can make emergency calls if you need to.

– Keep an up-to-date first aid kit in the tack room, for horses and our two-legged counterparts. You never know when you might need it!

– Pay attention to the stink. Do your stalls smell? The ammonia in horse stalls and barns is more than an odor nuisance. Studies show that low levels of ammonia stress a horse’s upper respiratory airways placing us at risk of pneumonia, heaves, and other serious illnesses.

– Have fire extinguishers everywhere… you can never be too prepared. Make sure they are of the correct type and that you know how to use them.

– Consider having the fire department out for a visit to check things out and make an evaluation. You should have seen what my person chose to wear to the barn THAT day… breeches that tight should be banned…

– Cover the electrical systems and wires with metal tubing. Not only does it look a little tidier it keeps rodents, birds, and the not-so-intelligent horse from nibbling on the wires.

What are your tips? After all, sharing is caring and your tips are valuable! Leave them in the comments, I’ll read them. Maybe.

Just Kidding :)

Ta-Ta-For Now!
Sweet Pea

 

A Whole Lot of “Sweetness” Between the Pages

It’s not often that my human and I share the same tastes in books. She’s big into tear-jerking novels, the ones that leave her with an empty box of tissues and a bright red face. I, on the over hoof, look for books that are action packed, tell an amazing story, and of COURSE have their fair share of horses. So when my “momma” brought this book to the barn, gushing over how AMAZING it was… I originally thought that she needed to save the drama for her momma.

If I was was a betting mare, I would say that Unintended Lies is one to put your money on!

If I was was a betting mare, I would say that Unintended Lies is one to put your money on!

But let me tell you, Unintended Lies by Linda Kendall McLendon kept me riveted to the story, rapidly turning the pages as I was pulled into the story of Catherine and her rollercoaster tale. This fabulous tale of love, deceit and suspense earned an easy five horseshoes up from me!

To make the story even more exciting, this was Linda’s first book! And (just because I’m fabulous… Okay, maybe because LINDA’s fabulous) she’s here, in my corner of the internet to tell us about the super “sweet” process of writing this book.

As a young girl, I was allowed to read any books I wished and was inspired by Hemingway, Michener, Pearl S. Buck and horse stories such as the Black Stallion and Red Stallion Series. I dreamed of becoming a horsewoman and author. Eventually, I mustered up the courage to ride and later write.

The characters had to have tragedies as well as triumphs, but most of all there had to be lasting love. I wanted a happy ending, but also to cause the reader to wonder what might happen after the last page was turned.

The animals and their relationships with people were integral, as well as a setting where someone could sort things out. Something had to bind the two main characters and the horses were the perfect catalyst to bring them together in the first place and keep them going in a similar direction. The bonus was the twists and turns the story took that made it into a page turner. It has been called a thriller, a murder/mystery, a romance novel.

Unintended Lies is a gift from my experiences and the people I have known along the way and in remembrance of my best friend, Catherine. I wrote the novel so that anyone could pick it up and go away satisfied. Men will identify with Zane and Buck and enjoy the ranch and their government agent lives. Women will understand the struggles Catherine faced and identify with the twisted results of her decisions. Teens can read it without their parents worrying about the content. Enjoy!

Seriously, go check it out, you won’t be sorry. It’s the best $19.95 you’re going to spend (4.99 for a Nook or a Kindle), almost even better then carrots :) (If you’re interested you can see it HERE)
TaTa For Now!
Sweet Pea

Did you watch?

Did you? Did you? Did you tune in to see Sweet PDZ on Designing Spaces?

Well… if you didn’t, you really missed out. It really STINKS to be you :)

Just kidding, of course, check it out here! http://www.designingspaces.tv/show_segment.php?id=1139 you WON’T be disappointed!

Tell me… what did you think?

TaTa for Now!
Sweet Pea

Drink Up!

You wouldn’t think that you would need to worry about dehydration in these cold winter months… but lets face it, not all of my four legged friends are as smart as I am! Horses often decrease their water intake in the cold weather (no surprises here), so you need to be aware of their hydration levels.

Make sure your horse is adequately hydrated. Bottoms up!

Make sure your horse is adequately hydrated. Bottoms up! 

So keep your horse drinking! Make sure that the water bucket is free from ice, but make sure that it is not too warm. Also make sure that your water heater (if you are using one) isn’t sending shocks to poor, unsuspecting muzzles.

And you know what they say; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure… so monitor your horses’ water intake all the time, not JUST when you think there is a problem.

Ta-Ta-For Now!
Sweet Pea

Do You Watch Television?

Yeah, yeah, I know… If you’re a red blooded human, the answer is probably yes. My equine friends and I don’t always have the luxury of tuning in, but I think I have the perfect reason to finally drag a TV out to the barn.

Sweet PDZ® (thats the company that keeps my stall smelling OH SO FRESH) announced its partnership with Designing Spaces™ television show (www.designingspaces.tv), which airs on the Lifetime Network. The upcoming three part series covers life at the McKamey Animal Center (www.mckameyanimalcenter.org) in Chattanooga, TN.

That means that a product I hold near and dear to my heart will be hitting the silver screen this week, and that, my friends, is almost as exciting as when my person brings a bag of peppermints to the barn… but anyway…

Tom Menner (a super cool guy, he believes in living ammonia free), President of PDZ Co., LLC, said, “Sweet PDZ® is very excited about its selection to be involved with this award winning show where we can educate and inform a large audience on the proper approach to horse and pet odor control and stall hygiene.”

And let’s face it, no one likes it when their stall is stinkier then the barn cats litter box.

So anyway, be sure to tune in to the Designing Pet Spaces™ series on the McKamey Animal Center. The episode featuring Sweet PDZ®’s segment on keeping a safe and odor free stall environment will air Thursday, January 24th at 7:30 a.m. (as in the day after tomorrow, for those of you who have trouble with the calendar). If you miss it, you can check it out after the fact on the  Designing Spaces website where it can be viewed 24/7 (you know, just if 7:30 happens to be your horse’s dinner time… in which case I don’t blame you for missing it).

In other words, tune in, listen up, and tell me all about what you think!

TaTa For Now!
Sweet Pea

Sweet Grooming Tips

Winter is not exactly this girl’s best friend. It has not been kind to my figure… and well; let’s just say that I’m in desperate need of a spa day. Today, I figured I’d share the love for my wooly friends and give you some super grooming tips for cold weather.

Consider clipping, it makes the grooming process easier, but its not for everyone… and personally, I’m not a big fan of being naked. However, some of my pals love wearing big puffy jackets and a sleek coat if that is the right option for you.

If you don’t clip… get to know your vacuum. And I mean, get up close and personal with it. After a wonderful curry session, the vacuum helps to get all the dander and the “stuff” out of my coat.

Use your bare hands to check out legs, winter coats do a wonderful job hiding inflammation… so do a quick swipe over to make sure that there are no surprises. You should also use your hands to check over ribs… most of use pack on some extra pounds in the winter, but a select few may have difficultly keeping weight ON (lucky them) so be on the lookout.

Hot toweling is a super method to make your horse feel loved and to help keep them squeaky clean.  Use warm, damp towels to “curry” your horse and remove the dirt… it gets everyone’s blood flowing too!

If you happen to have an indoor wash rack with hot water, you and your horse are in luck! Oh… and could you send over your address? I would… ah… love to come “visit” for a bit.

Waterless shampoos are great options for those of us without the luxury of hot water. You don’t need a lot and they do a wonderful job removing the dirt and the grime.

What are your tips for cold weather grooming? If anyone is need of some practice… let me know, like I said… I’m ready for the spa!

Ta-Ta-For Now!

Sweet Pea

Don’t Eat the Meat!

This mare finds this to be a wee bit stinky… oh, wait, hold that thought– really stinky. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/horse-meat-traces-found-in-burgers-16261673.html

Traces of horse meat have been found in burgers on sale in some of the country's busiest supermarkets, food safety chiefs in Ireland have revealed.

Traces of horse meat have been found in burgers on sale in some of the country’s busiest supermarkets, food safety chiefs in Ireland have revealed.

Check it out… basically, in my fabulous opinion, don’t eat the meat. Because, I love cows and all, but I love my horse friends more 😉

What do you think? Ready to grab a burger in Ireland?

Ta-ta for now!
Sweet Pea

That’s Sweet!

I, for one, am a huge fan of good horsemanship… imagine that! Good horsemanship doesn’t subscribe to theories of brute force and domination but instead look for ways to respect horses and motivate them in a way that lets the horse know that the human understands us horses are living and breathing.

George Morris shows those young riders how its done!Photo Courtesy of Molly Sorge

George Morris shows those young riders how its done, he rocks that no stirrup work!
Photo Courtesy of Molly Sorge

Motivation for me? Motivation consists of a crunchy carrots, a scratch on the chin, and a warm stall that smells as good as I do. But I digress…

It’s important that people understand that show horses are athletes (just like their riders) and more then just a “vehicle” to ribbons and top honors. Nothing makes this mare’s blood boil more quickly then the unconsidered horse.

George Morris, a well-known author, rider, coach, judge, etc. (let’s face it, if you don’t know who he is you may be living under a rock or breathing in a wee bit too much ammonia…), recently finished up his 2013 George Morris Horsemanship Training Session. Yes, this man takes horsemanship and education seriously.

Not only does this man take a stand on properly caring for your horse, three cheers for that GM (!), but also places a huge amount of emphasis on thoughtful and correct riding. Riding correctly requires the rider be fit, just as much as their equine counterparts. Riders from the sessions were put to the test both in their knowledge and riding abilities by the “Legend” himself.

But don’t think that GM is the kind of guy that just sits in the middle of the ring, shouting orders; instead he gets in on the action showing those kiddos how it is done. In any setting this would be impressive to have the instructor right there in the thick of things and it was no different at the 2013 George Morris Horsemanship Training Session, UNTIL George turned up the heat on the fourth day.

On the forth day of the clinic, George quickly removed the stirrups of all the saddles in the ring, then he climbed aboard not one, but two horses, Catherine Tyree’s and Ana Forssell’s, and showed every one how it was done. Ladies and gentlemen, those young riders had their dignity handed to them, when a 74-(yes, you read that correctly)-year-old man who recently beat prostate cancer rode for over 20-minutes straight with no stirrups ON EACH HORSE, without breaking a sweat.

And that my friends, is sweet. Totally 100% sweet.
Bravo GM, Bravo.
Ta-Ta-For Now!
Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea Here!

Sweet Pea here, reporting in on the Sweet and the Smelly!

If you’re looking for the scoop on the horse world, you’ve come to the right place. Not only do I know a thing or two about Scoops (I do love my grain), I have an inside view of what’s really going on in the world of horses! Who better to give you the skinny (although that ain’t me…) on all things equine? Like any mare, I’m happy to share my opinion with you… Whether you asked for it or not! With a love of sweet treats and chin scratches, I’m your go to source for anything on the horse! From when I wake up in my cushy, soft, sweet smelling stall in the morning to when I kick up my not so sweet-smelling hooves at the end of the day, its all about life, according to the One and Only Sweet Pea… that’s ME!I promise to always keep my words sweet and digestible, just in case I have to eat them.

Horse Pals: Does your rider need straightening out? Are you sick and tired of those u-g-l-y breeches they wear to the barn each day? Perhaps they need to understand that those gawd-awful-smelly supplements are NOT a food group? Send them my way… I’ll get them on the right track.

This mare is only as strong as the rest of her herd… and I want to know what you think too! So tell me your thoughts and keep checking back to see mine!

Signing out… Stay Tuned!
Ta-Ta-For Now!
Sweet Pea