Friday, July 25, 2008

settled in

Last week the above was the view out my window. It was a pleasure to glance outside and see those gorgeous manicured gardens. The other window in my room overlooked the long beds and the water garden, and I often kept the blinds pulled all the way up so I could have the effect of all that beauty.

Today I'm feeling pretty much settled in. After breakfast, the three horse geldings marched off down the hill to graze beneath the overcast sky and enjoy the quite moderate temperature. Salina stayed up top with me to enjoy her private paddock.

This young man deserves a few photos showcasing his newly one-year old handsomeness. He is on the outside edge of his summer sleekness - if you look closely you can see the beginnings of his winter coat coming in again.

And Mystic is growing like mad. He has been coming out for some time at the barn recently and loves to stalk blades of grass and flying insects and ford the stream from the water hose. Dickens may have another cowboy to keep him company in a few months!

This morning I was eager to see how Keil Bay did with his second batch of herbs mixed in with his breakfast. When I went in his stall to collect his tub, he was licking it clean, methodically the way he usually does, and he lifted his head so I could lift the tub up and hold it while he finished cleaning the sides and edges. He carefully licked each of my hands holding the tub, and cleaned every bit of his good herbal blend, some of which I know is extremely bitter and has caused a number of horses to need molasses and applesauce and pure cane sugar to entice them to eat.

I'm convinced that Keil Bay knows this is what he needs, and that in fact his sampling of tulip poplar blossoms, bark, lichens, etc. this past spring was his attempt to get something he needed to address some deficits in his diet. Now that it's right in his tub with breakfast, he is as happy as can be.

He had a glitter in his eye and walked off down the hill with the satisfied stride I love seeing. Believe it or not, I can see a subtle difference since yesterday.

Apache Moon's persistent advocate marched down the hill, cotton ball in hand, to collect his saliva sample, so he will be up next. My guess is that he won't have much to address, and we can move forward with the next horse in line pretty quickly.

I have to say: there is nothing quite like being home with things in order, stalls clean, horses happy, and the summer being so blessed with rain and moderate temps and autumn around the bend.

It's funny - I met a screenwriter on retreat who is now working on a very exciting novel, and it was fun to chat about Hollywood and movies and TV series. And then I come home and see sights like the one below, and I can't imagine why Hollywood isn't outside banging on my door this very moment. Is Rafer Johnson a movie star, or what?!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Of course Rafer is a star as are all of the critters on the Hill. The pictures are adorable, glad to hear Keil Bay is enjoying his new taste treats.
I love the gardens outside your window at the hotel. Whenever I get a chance I like to go down to Williamsburg and enjoy their gardens. If I had the time I would plant them here, but unfortunately I never have the time to garden much.

billie said...

Well, Arlene, I wonder WHY you (we) don't have time to garden? :)

We have a number of very lovely and already planted beds here and they are thickets right now. You can't tell where one plant ends and the other begins. And there are two 5-foot sweet gum saplings growing in one bed. It's shameful!

However, I don't see how I can add the gardening piece in without letting something else go, and what in the world would THAT be? LOL. Eating, which might solves two problems at once!

Keil Bay licked his tub clean again tonight. I am not really surprised but I am SO glad he's enjoying his tubs of herbal/pellet mash. The funny thing is the pony is lining up to pick at the drippings, which makes me think he probably should be the next in line.

Janet Roper said...

Let's hear it for The Rafer! I'm glad to hear Keil Bay is doing better, and I doubt if it's your imagination seeing that improvement.

billie said...

Janet, thanks for affirming that it's not my imagination re: Keil Bay. He definitely has a spring in his step and he spent much more time today out in the field than in with his fans, which I think is a good sign.

It makes me happy to see him licking his tub and taking the time to stop and very carefully lick my hands. It's a very appreciative gesture on his part, and I love when he does it.

jme said...

that handsome boy ought to be in pictures!

it's amazing what horses will do to try to supplement themselves when there is a deficiency. i had one horse who used to strip the bark off of a particular tree in his paddock when he needed something, and right now i'm taking care of 2 neglect cases who will literally bypass the grass and eat huge mouthfuls of dirt! they have stopped since i have started giving them a vitamin supplement, but i'd love to transition them to herbs eventually, so i'll be curious to know how your guys do with them!

billie said...

jme, isn't it fascinating what they do to get what they need? I guess in the wild they would have a shot at finding the exact things they lack, but in our stabling environments it's more of a challenge.

All mine get flax, BOSS for the EFAs, a good equine multi-vit, and a kelp-based supplement, plus a special B-mixture that has added magnesium oxide and a few other things specific to our pasture.

But Keil apparently needs more flax, and I knew there was a yeast/fungus thing going on - homeopathy helped but either I didn't go far enough with that OR he just needed something more.

I know a number of folks are now getting saliva samples as part of their pre-purchase checks on horses, and having Patsy add those results to the info they have to review when making a buying decision. It makes a lot of sense to me, now that I'm seeing results so quickly. (and seeing the pony lie in wait to get some of these herb drippings!)

My guess with your two rescues is that Patsy could help you get them up to best condition more quickly, b/c you'd be able to very specifically target what's off for them.

Keep reading - I'll probably post more than anyone cares to know about the Big Bay and his herbs. :)

jme said...

that's really interesting... maybe i'll bother you more for info in the future. do you mail the saliva sample, or does she have to come out and do it in person?

billie said...

jme, there is a long and fascinating thread on this at the forums at - search for the thread that has hair analysis in the title.

Someone there had a friend use Patsy (who is in Texas, btw) and the results were so stunning she sent in samples for her two mares. She posted the results on the forum, and other folks started sending in samples for their horses and also posting results. By the time I read it, there were many many endorsements for Patsy's work, and I decided to talk to her myself and see what she thought about Keil Bay. She felt he could benefit, based on everything I told her and all the things I was already doing.

She spent 30 minutes on the phone with me before I ever even sent a sample in.

A number of folks at Ultimate Dressage were skeptical to the extreme, so their good results are particularly interesting. I tend toward the alternative in health/medical issues anyway, so I really had no issues with whether it would work - more about who to trust to do the testing. Patsy is very easy to talk to, a horsewoman herself, and has no interest in pressuring anyone. The fact that the test is so inexpensive, and includes her recommendations in that cost, sold me. You have, after spending only $25, the results that you can take anywhere else you want to - and purchase herbs on your own, or whatever.

I have to say, when the package arrived, I was thrilled all over again b/c the herbs are food/human grade, and packaged so well with instructions meticulously laid out.

Based on what I'm seeing already with Keil Bay, I plan to do all my horses and do re-checks with Patsy twice/year even if things are going well.

If you read the forum thread you'll see that she is not only on target with things like low EFAs, low digestive enzymes, etc. but notes structural issues that have been corroborated by vets, chiropractors, massage therapists, x-rays, etc. I was very relieved that she didn't find anything structurally off with the Big Bay, but not surprised, as he is so very good at telling me when he needs body work and he does get it regularly.

I can send you her address if you want it - she now only asks for saliva samples as I think the hair samples were not always being taken properly and the saliva is easy to get and mail.

She calls you with the results and you can then choose to order from her or not. There have also been a number of horses I know of who had no issues - so if things look good she simply tells you that and doesn't try to sell you things you don't need.