Caritas’ New Feet

These are Caritas' feet while he was still at the track. I'm assuming the bandages were covering where he'd been pin fired. He's still got the scars.
These Are Caritas' feet right after he came to live with us. He's still got a shoe on the bottom of this hoof although it was so loose it wasn't doing much good.
These are Caritas' feet after about a month of shoe removal and natural hoof care principals being applied. You can clearly see the line of healthier new growth coming out at the coronary band.
This is a closeup of what was causing a lot of the hoof problems in this horse. His feet were loaded with necrotic, diseased tissue, laminae, etc. There was no connection between hoof wall and the coffin bone inside the hoof. There were billions of bacteria eating away inside the hoof and even in the sole.
This was about 3 months into rehab. Still got a lot of toe. I ended up taking most of it off and booting him to get proper hoof mechanics going on. Without his boots he was very sore on the rocky divoted pasture he was in at the time.
This is Caritas' foot today. It looks a lot better, but it's not a healed hoof. He's still got thin soles, and that is causing some bruising inside the hoof capsule, which has led to the formation of another absess...first one since the winter, thank goodness. A lot better hoof, but still a ways to go before it's "gravel crunching" sound.
Hoof sole today. He's got great frogs! There is still some heel contraction in this hoof although you can't see it in this picture. His heel is still a bit high, and hoof wall is sparse. He's got a sore spot at the end of the frog, which I am assuming is a brewing absess. I trimmed the lumps and bumps away and filled the collateral grooves in with some anti-thrush sole packing and then applied casts to the lower portion of his hoof for comfort.
This is Caritas' casted hoof. It all goes below the hair line and below the soft portion of the heel bulbs. They should provide a bit of comfort, but the real reason for using them is so I can get more practice with them. There are a lot of little steps with the glue and hoof packing that make it more complex than it seems. I alway end up covered with the stuff. And nope I can't take pictures of the process unless I had a helper. I'd end up glueing my camera to my nose or something!
And finally, here's the big guy himself, modeling his new "shoes" for me. I'm hoping the casts will increase sole depth. They have to be removed and reaplied every two weeks. They are very expensive too. About $15 bucks a wrap...luckily, I got both hooves done with one wrap. I also used 4 mixing tips for the sole pack and glue. Those are expensive too, but I can't remember how much.
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the a list affair

the a list affair.

The A List Affair is a new emerging platform for the bloggy types that help us get our blogs out there into blogosphere.  To be included in the A-List a blogger must write a short post explaining why they think their blog should be included on the a list affair.  If  you’ve got a blog, head on over and enter today.  It closes on the 28th of June, but you’ve still got time.

Okay, A-list folks, here is my short list of why I think my blog should be included on the A- list.

I went to college to study writing, creative and otherwise.  I dropped out to become a raw foodist hermit and to be able to play with my horses all day when I wasn’t working at my job making salty snacks and fun foods.  Blogging lets me unleash that writerly soul inside of me once or twice a day.  Hey, it’s not the great work of fiction art I’d planned, but it’s something, and that’s better than nothing.

My blog covers a lot of subjects, mostly surrounding my little farm.  We’re trying to be green here, although I think it’s much harder than it seems.  We’re composting, rotating pastures, drinking raw goats milk, knitting slippers, and the list goes on….and I’m blogging about it all.

In addition to the farm and all the weird animals we have here, I also have my own goats milk soap and natural hoof care businesses.  I blog about those too.  Mostly the soap stuff, but sometimes I blog about horse feet too, although I might be the only person I know, besides my clients, that find that interesting.

And the very last reason I think I should be on the A- list is because I’m a nice person, and doesn’t that count for something?

New Essential Oil Soaps

I got my back-ordered lemongrass oil yesterday, and so decided to test-soap all three essential oils today.  Left to right is Tea Tree, Patchouli, and Lemongrass.  The little star sitting on top is a new ice cube tray mold I’m testing.  I got  8 of them at Walmart for about a dollar each.  I’m hoping the little soap will pop right out.  I’m sure I’ll have to put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes first.  I’d like to use these stars as embeds for Christmas and Holiday soaps, and also to decorate the tops of some of the specialty bars I do during the Christmas season.

I decided to go with some herbs scattered on top of these soaps, just for decoration.  I’m not sure what color they’ll turn out.  I’m betting the patchouli will be a deeper brown, but the tea tree and lemongrass will probably be a light tan color.

In the winter time I make up to four trays of soaps at a time and stack them on top of one another and then wrap the whole thing with blankets to insulate the soaps and force a gel.  In this summer heat, I might actually have to put the tray into the freezer to keep it from getting too hot and bubbling, creating cracks in the surface of the soap.

The soap will change quite a bit by the time it cools and is ready to cut, which is normally in about 24 hours.  I used the maximum amount of goats milk so I could separate the batch and put different essential oils into each one.  Using less goats milk helps it cure faster, but it also sets up much quicker and you don’t have as much time to do a lot of fancy stuff or make separate logs of different varieties.

This mold is really neat because the middle dividers come out.  Normally I pour the whole thing with one type of soap and then level it and then put the dividers in, separating into 3 logs.  Each log makes 8 bars of cut soap about 6 to 7 oz each.  The botton also comes off, which makes it a lot easier to get the soap out of the mold.

This mold comes from Kelsies Molds and is a custom design they call the “Vickie” mold. They have several different mold designs and sizes.  Some even have dividers that divide each bar of soap into the exact same shape and size.  You don’t even have to cut them at all.  They are rather pricey, but are made very sturdy and will probably last as long as I want to make soap.

I still need to make a lot more soap, but I had to order more coconut oil.  I go through that stuff pretty fast and buying it at Walmart is way to expensive!  As soon as the coconut oil comes in I’m going to be doing a lavender/orange soap.  I’ve mixed the essential oils up and use them in a spray bottle with water to wash with when I’m out trimming horses and it smells lovely.

Happy Friday!

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Paddock Boots and Riding Breeches Needed

Giving new hope to grieving children who have lost a parent by providing healing programs using horses, dogs, and faith.

A dear friend and client of mine has recently started a new program in the Midlothian, Va.  area called New Hope on 4 Hoofs.

This is a great program pairing children who are grieving due to loss of a parent, whether to death, military duty, divorce, etc. with horses and dogs in a theraputic environment meant to give the children new hope and encouragement.

I think this is a wonderful program and much needed in our communities.  The group is just getting started”officially” but has been working with children and horses and dogs for some time now.

They are in need of paddock boots and breeches in childrens sizes.  If you have any that your children have outgrown the group would be so thankful if you would consider donating them.  This is a 501 (c) non-profit organization and you’ll be able to see where your donations go.

You can send me an email at or give me a call at 434-426-4049 and I can give you an address to send your donations.  I can also pick things up if I’m in the area.  Besides paddock boots and breeches, the program is in need of tack, especially english riding gear, halters, lead ropes, bridles, blankets, etc.  If you have any of these items please email me and I can put you in touch with Melinda Martin, who is the CEO and founder of the group.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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New Hay Colics Horse

Earlier this week I picked up some new hay, just cut this year.  It is a grass/clover mix and is nice and dry and smells wonderful!  The horses loved it.  The clover content is low, which is why I wasn’t too worried about it causing problems…but my little grey mare must have decided it was a bit too palatable and ate more than her share.

Tuesday when I came home from trimming horses, there she was , all sprawled out in the sun, while the other horses were down in the shade.  I had just picked up some baby guinea chicks and needed to get them out of their small cardboard box before they suffocated and so was washing out a rubbermaid tote to put them in and so I watched her while I washed.

She was up and down, up and down.  Rolling up near the fence, then hiding behind the garden fence, lying down…in the sun.  She wasn’t swating flies or trying to graze.  I got the chicks out of their hot cardboard box and into the bigger tote with food and water and then went and drew up a syringe of banamine for Amira.

By this time I was in somewhat of a panic because I lost a horse to colic once, and this colic looked kind of serious.  I couldn’t remember the dosage  for the banamine.  (Banmine is a powerful pain reliever and is what vets use for horses that are colicing.)   My computer was out of bandwidth because we had watched too many videos the day before so I couldn’t look up the dosage.  Finally I thought to look on the label, and yep, there it was…in tiny, tiny, print…the dosage.

I hoped I was reading it right.  I had to wash out a syringe because it was the only one I had that would hold the 5 CC’s I’d decided she needed.  (I have been meaning to order new boxes of syringes and needles but haven’t gotten around to it.)

I went back outside once I’d gotten the banamine shot drawn up and found Amira covered in pine needles, hiding behind the compost pile, groaning.  I gave her the shot, and she didn’t flinch.  She was letting the horse flies eat her up and she was covered with blood from them and over heated.

I let the banamine work while I went and found a halter and lead rope.  By the time I got back to her and put the halter on, she was willing to get up and even walk.  I took her out of the sun and put her under a huge walnut tree with a tie hitch in the back yard.

I got some of my peppermint soap and gave her a nice long bath.  I rubbed and massaged her back and stomach and she seemed to really enjoy it.  The horseflies didn’t appear to like the peppermint soap much and took off.

After her bath I walked her around the yard and up and down the road for a while.  Finally she started putting her head down to graze and looked much happier.  I put her back out into the pasture that’s on regrow so she could graze and I would not need to give her any hay.

She’s been fine since then and none of the other horses have had a problem with the hay.  There is no mold in it, I just think it was a little fresher than her normal hay and so she overate until she gave herself a stomach ache.

You know the old saying…too much of a good thing…

Amira, about 2 hours after her bout with colic.  All better!

My new guniea chicks.
Ciara, checking out the new hay. She thinks it's great!
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Tea Tree And Patchouli Oils Just In

I finally got my tea tree and patchouli oils in and will be soaping these this week.  Talk about expensive oils!  I only ordered 8oz of the patchouli…I really don’t know how many people actually want this soap.  I get about one request per week, and I’ve never soaped with it, so I’ll have to see how it goes before I order more.

The tee tree  I get constant requests for and really should have had it all along.  I plan to do a pet bar with it also.  It’ll probably be just my basic recipe, but I may add some pine and eucalyptus and peppermint too.  My dog smells great after his peppermint/eucalyptus bath.  He normally smells atrocious.  I’ll have to say I can actually pet him now without my hands reeking and needing a good washing!

The lemongrass I ordered is on backorder and they didn’t give me a time frame. Hopefully it will be soon.  People seem to really like those citrusy scents in the summer time.  Plus they help keep bugs away.

The girls managed to lock themselves in their shed today.  When I came home from Lynchburg they were screaming to get out.  All except Alicia.  She was lying under some shade trees calmly chewing her cud and looking positively delighted.  I would not be the least bit surprised if she was the one who shut the door and locked them in.  They aren’t very nice to her at times and would have served them right.

And they are hollering now for their evening milking. Happy rest of this Monday!

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Tonya Zavasta…Beautiful On Raw

I first read Tonya’s books several years ago when I was a confirmed raw hermit.  Tonya had a debilitating hip deformation as a child.  Her story is inspiring and intriguing.  She has wrote a new book called “Quantum Eating.”  I have not read that one yet, but I’ll be it’s even better than her first two.

Tonya is obsessed with discovering ways to help stop our bodies from aging prematurely, wearing out, and getting disease.  She has really done her research and is probably the only person who has delved this deeply into the subject with a keen interest in how raw foods and eating earlier in the day, as opposed to a standard diet or even a regular vegetarian diet and late night eating.

The following link is to her blog.  She’s got a lot of amazing stories on it.  It’s all quite interesting.  Take a look, I’m sure  you’ll enjoy it.

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