rare sights

I looked out the window while making supper, and wondered what was that red streak in the sky? It was coming up from low in the sky, or down depending on how you view things.

As mentioned in my last post, sky colors wrap around us frequently. I didn't find it too odd. I was drawn to the red beam, and couldn't stop looking at it. The color grew with intensity. I saw some faint blue & yellow starting to appear along the interior edge, and realized, it's a rainbow!!! I ran outside (well, my version of running lol) snapped a quick phone pic, and hurried to the barn to get Brad. He stopped what he was working on to oblige his sky obsessed crazy wife, and went outside to see our first rainbow at our new home!!
red sunset rainbow
(no enhancements)

We should have traded for our neighbors barn when offered,
there is a pot of GOLD in it!!
The odd part was the conditions were not the usual predictable East facing multi colored rainbow conditions I am familiar with. What?! You didn't know I was a Rainbow Predictor? Well I am ;) This rainbow faced North East, it was really red and apparently somewhat rare. 

Here is an interesting link on red rainbows. I learned finding them is different then "regular" rainbows. There is no such thing as a regular rainbow, they are all unique spectacular phenomena. This is how you find a red rainbow "if you’re watching a sunset, and there’s rain in the air, turn in the direction opposite the sun and watch for the elusive red rainbow."

The red beam started to reach higher, arc and look more rainbow-ish,
with faint blue/green/yellow interior colors
It didn't last long. I turned around to watch the sunset to the West...

No wonder there was cast light in the East forming a rainbow. I am sure my iphone does some processing to all photos. I haven't done anything to the sky pics, they do resemble what I see in person. Colors are a bit more dramatic, in particular the purple. What you don't see is the less colorful areas of the sky that balance it all out. All camera's process .jpg photos to some degree, unless you have a more advanced camera and shoot in a native RAW format. Like I do, with what I call "my real camera".

This morning I walked to the barn. Brad was working early on getting our tack room door up, his table saw caught my eye:

It was so cool! All pitch black in the storage side of the barn, except for the saw. I couldn't just walk past (I did add a filter to this phone photo). Light is such a spectacular sight!!

After chores I was wheelin' it back to the barn, looked up and saw an X in the sky above our barn:

X marks the spot

By the time I put the wheel barrel away and tried to get a better angle with my phone, the X had rotated and traveled but stayed in it's X format:

looks more like a cross

Just had to share what I think are rare sights :) I've always said, the best camera is the one you have with you - but I think I need to start carrying my real camera around with me!! 


following up on not so recent posts

For some reason I haven't been able to gather my thoughts enough to write anything in-depth, so here is a collective follow-up on some not so recent posts:

Our Barn mystery about Nemo's shavings becoming dark and damp remains unsolved. Now that it is Fall, his shavings are lasting a week and stay relatively normal. Until they don't. It happens overnight, typically on a rainy day. I believe it's due to a combination of his churning in his stall and some form of dampness. Since the mats aren't wet, and the shaving aren't heavily wet either (his soiled shavings are, those are closer to black/dark brown), we are going to move onto the other zillion things we need to worry about. 

Every horse is different, but I still find the difference in shavings extremely odd. I should have taken a photo of the clean shavings in the stalls, the dry vs damp color is more extreme. We may dig into this mystery in the Spring.

Nemo's damp shavings fill the wheel barrel.
Koda's pee saturated shavings added on top right.

As far as our moldy Tack Room and First Aid  inquiry 
I haven't added much to our First Aid supplies yet, other then I bought a new thermometer.

After I posted, our unexpected mold showed up in unusual places, like our bulletin board GASP! It isn't anywhere near tack, and right by a large entrance that remains open all day. Apparently fresh air doesn't faze mold, at least not when humid.

I threw the moldy calendars away, wiped the cork down and made an essential oils (EO) spray with whatever I had. My mix included Tea Tree, Rosemary and a Good Samaritan blend with Cinnamon, Clove etc. Our barn smelled great for a few days, altho my horse was a snort machine upon entrance. The other two horses just looked wonky at the board. I think they found it offensive, or at best different. I sprayed the board pretty heavily, and the mold has not returned. I used this good EO reference to stop the mold from growing on our board:

My mold fighting arsenal
We bought a dehumidifier for our tack room. It runs 24/7 and the humidity has lowered, although we don't have a door yet so its not as effective as it could be. The small blue bottle is my EO mold spray mix. I bought Black Rock cleaner/conditioner per Linda's suggestion. I think it will work similar to the combo we used, although ours was a spray. Once I received it I laughed out loud at how small the jar was, thinking "well, that will do one saddle"! Guess I didn't notice the size I bought was only 4oz duh. It's a great size to try it out, and I bet it will go further then appears.

I also bought Arlines recommended Ho-Cho-Line leather dressing (another small jar lol) for a few pieces of tack to store, and a couple older donate-able items. I also bought some silica gel packs & and an inexpensive brush for cleaning only. 

I am waiting on saddle storage covers, and then it's game on! Everything will get cleaned again, more thoroughly. I check the important tack daily, and the only re-offender so far is my old Circle Y saddle. Which is banished to the corner of the barn. After the initial cleaning, I wipe whatever starts growing again and keep hauling it out in the sun. When we have sun, which is seldom these days. 

Speaking of sun, our daily morning summer fog has subsided. This year the norm has been frequent cloudy/rainy days, but I am still in awe with our sky views. The weather patterns are so different now that we live north of a large river. The biggest difference I've noticed are the clouds. They are SO much closer! I like to think we are a little closer to heaven. 

On sunny days the clouds look like huge powder puff cotton balls floating just out of reach, in a sea of sky blue. Whatever Mother Nature reveals overhead, seems to surround us. The sunsets wrap all the way around overhead, and so do hints of sunrise colors. 

When we moved, I left behind a beautiful wide open (very distant) Eastern sunrise view. Imagine my surprise to see my first sunrise reflecting high above our trees, coloring our cloudy sky! Who knew?!! 

Our beautiful Western tree line also lights up with color. Sunset here is much closer, and intense. It surrounds you in a way that draws you in. We cannot see either horizon from our land, but who needs to when the skies light up like this:




Online Horse Documentary

Just incase you have not seen this offer and are interested, there is a new horse documentary "Listening to the Horse" being offered online for premier free viewing starting Monday, November 12, 2018.

"This 7-part documentary series looks at many aspects of our lives with horses, including acknowledging when our horses try, feel, timing and balance, fixing problems, working with wild and young horses, groundwork, liberty, footfall, why collection is important for your horses health, feet, teeth, general health, bodywork, healing, animal communication, saddle and bit fit, fear and confidence issues, mental health, home and environment."

The documentary includes an impressive number of equine professionals:

After one enters their email for a "ticket" aka spot to view the documentary, the schedule appears:

I doubt I will be able to sit long enough to watch allll of the episodes, but I will catch what I can - and hopefully my email won't be bombarded with sales pitches. Link to sign up for viewing in first paragraph.

Disclaimer: The images & information shared above are courtesy of Listening to the Horse.


barn mystery

We are trying to solve a barn mystery. Why are Nemo's shavings getting so damp & heavy? It's the weirdest thing!! Koda & Harmony's shavings stay dry, except of course where they pee. 

We thought perhaps it's because Nemo circles and circles in his stall, spreading everything everywhere. Into a million little pieces. Or maybe it's because he has a urinary condition. When his calcium builds up, he drips. A lot. But we haven't observed any dripping, only steady streams. Music to our ears. We may be the only horse owners that smile every time their horse pees :) Now that we don't feed hay on the floor, he prefers to do so outside. I don't find much in his shavings.

Nemo absolutely loves his window, and checks it constantly. He has to keep those in his world safe you know. It's who he is. He is a horse that could happily live outside all year, except his coat, feet and allergies say differently. In part, why he willingly comes inside. He does love hanging out in outdoor shelters, so that may change once we have one. Although I am sure he will want to come in for his grain supplements.

Maybe the dampness is from Nemo's stall/window placement? Rain could be coming at an angle in his window, and not the others. Nope. Our stall windows are closed now that it's cooler, and his shavings are still getting heavy and damp. We thought about switching Koda & Nemo's stalls for a few days as a test, but I don't think it's the horse.

The waterer could be leaking? We have checked and rechecked the mechanics. The surrounding shavings reveal no leak. For a while, we resorted to just accepting that Nemo has damp shavings for whatever reason. But emptying and re-liming his stall weekly is getting old. This week, I did it twice! There is the added expense, and then I have to make a second (or third) wheel barrel trip. The biggest reason we want to solve this mystery, is our big soulful guy deserves dry shavings. 

I've whined said from day one, the cause has to be something underneath his stall. Condensation? I don't know. Our water drain from the wash stall runs under Koda's stall, in PVC. Every stall has a water line housed in PVC.  Maybe his water line didn't seal completely? Brad is convinced the damp shavings are caused by Nemo's churning, but that doesn't make sense to me. It is literally the whole stall. I am sure you are thinking, what's the big deal? The consistency isn't too far off from heavily peed on shaving, minus the stench. I doubled the lime I used this last time, and the shavings seem to be holding up better. 

Brad is considering pulling Nemo's mats, and looking around. No doubt just to shut me up lol! Last thing Brad needs is more things to do. It will be worth it IF we can solve the mystery!?!!


weather forecaster

If you want an accurate weather forecast, observe Nemo. Unlike our human weather forecasters, he isn't wrong on a daily basis. Nemo is the first to let us know when Spring is coming, and feels weather before it happens.

Just yesterday, I was getting ready to leave for a photo shoot at our trainers barn
when Nemo started running. I thought it was odd. It was starting to cloud over, but the birds were chirping and it was warm. Rain wasn't forecasted until overnight. I caught a small part of the warning round-up on my phone:

Shortly after I took the video, the thunder rolled. By the time I got out to the barn it started raining, hard. It looked partly sunny where I was headed, but called the photo shoot off anyways. Glad I did, tornado warnings were added to the general area shortly after. I was surprised to hear there was a touch down in the town where I was heading. Nothing major, just down trees. I am far from a storm chaser and prefer to enjoy their mysteriousness from the comfort of my home, altho it could have made for interesting equine photos.

Thank you Nemo, for always keeping a watchful eye.

I sure do love Brad's special heart horse!


tack, room and first aid kit suggestions

What do you guys do for the following:

1) How do you keep your tack & tack room dry?

We've never had a problem with our tack getting moldy before. We stored it in our garage, inside a cedar storage locker that Brad built at our old place. It was off the floor & securely attached to the wall. We quickly outgrew it, so the frequently used tack lived on racks & hooks in the garage. I was sad to leave our cedar storage behind, but it didn't make sense to bring it now that we have a tack room. Not to mention it would have been a huge ordeal to move the beastly thing.

We don't have a door on the new tack room (yet) so I never gave our tack a second thought. With huge fans in the aisle, there is plenty of circulation. Until the day I walked by and saw my old Circle Y Saddle covered in dust, 'er wait, that was surface mold! GASP!! As you know, I haven't ridden since we moved here, so other then grabbing a grooming bag by the entrance I haven't paid any attention to our tack. Big mistake. The new wood must have a lot of moisture, plus the endless rain we've had we are having.

Thankfully our new saddles are stored in covers and were fine, but our bridles had some mold. They are also stored in a bag, because we had to haul our tack to our trainers barn. Boy were we surprised!

I searched online for suggestions to remedy the situation, and hung my head in shame because no, the pieces of tack that got surface mold were not stored spick & span clean. Obviously, clean tack is key to preventing mold. 

I looked for Silica gel locally, but couldn't find any. If we go that route, it looks like I'll have to buy it online. I don't have enough shoe packets to make a difference lol, plus I re-use them in my camera bags. 

We are thinking about getting a de-humidifier. For now, I am turning the light on during morning chores & running a fan.

2) What do you use to clean your tack?

Just curious. There are tons of products and methods out there. Many contradict. Our saddle maker suggested holding off cleaning until really needed, then wiping clean (with gentle saddle soap if needed) and following with a very light application of household oil.

We used to use a really nice custom handmade combo cleaner/lubrication spray from a local saddle fitter. Unfortunately it's a PITA to get now that she lives so far away. 

For the moldy saddle, I wiped the mold off with a separate cloth, and since we are out of the custom spray I used Lexol cleaner & followed with Lexol polisher. It's what I had. It says it's for leather tack, but I find the cleaner drying and would like to find something better suited for saddles. For the bridles, I take them apart and briefly dunk them in warm water first. Old toothbrushes sure come in handy for cleaning tack!

3) What do you keep on hand for first aid?

Of course what one keeps on hand depends on what ails your horses. I have the general non medical stuff, like vet wrap, padding & gloves. I also keep bute, and have some some antibacterial wound ointment. I am thinking about getting an annual tube of banamine to keep on hand, even if none of our horses have ever coliced, as well as mineral oil. Shirley's Beamer colic episode prompted this. You just never know when that day might come. We would rather spend the annual $30 and throw the tube away, then be caught helpless. I definitely need to get a thermometer for the barn, and our vet clinic suggests a stethoscope. Not sure if I'll get the latter. 

Fall chill-axing