Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Care for Broodmares

I've posted previously about winter care for horses, but read this very informative article on the American Quarter Horse site and thought I'd share. Very good comment about having first aid supplies handy!

These points are also useful for all horses. Remember, horses need water (not frozen), food (good quality hay), shelter (stall or lean-to) and exercise!

See the article at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter Care Tips for Horses

Winter can be hard on horses if the proper care is not given, and this means for equines stabled inside or outside.

Horses that are stalled all winter are usually clipped and will require blankets. The clipping is helpful for those equines that are ridden hard in the winter such as for fox hunting or indoor horse shows. They cool down quicker after a work out, but clipping also leaves them defenseless for the freezing temperatures.

Horses turned out full time in the winter should have adequate shelter such as a lean-to, as well as a daily check to make sure there are no health issues.

Water should not be iced up and there are many varieties of heaters for both buckets or outdoor troughs.

More hay should be fed to horses in the winter rather than more grain.

Remember, horses (like all animals) need four things to survive:
Water - fresh, clean and preferably room temperature.
Food - roughage for horses in the form of grass or hay is more important than grain.
Shelter - indoor stalls or outdoor (make sure there is room in an outdoor lean-to for all the pastured horses)
Exercise - often forgotten in the winter, exercise is important for those horses stalled 24/7 - either turned out daily in a paddock or ridden.

See these good articles on this topic at

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dog Park Tips


Dog Park Savvy

Bad outcomes can happen at dog parks. Here is how to avoid them.

Behavior Clips

By Gary Wilkes

The Reality of Dog Parks

Roughly stated, a dog park is a fenced area where dogs are allowed to run around for their pleasure. Owners socialize as they watch their little fuzzy babies careen, romp, and play with their friends. At the end of a visit, most of these dogs are thoroughly exhausted and go home to a night of deep slumber. In an urban environment, this kind of facility offers an outlet for animal lovers and cuts down on animal control problems. It is similar to the way organized parks cut down on kids’ playing baseball in the streets. Having a convenient, well-maintained dog park is a blessing for any community... or not.

See full article at Groomer to Groomer magazine.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Differences Between Dogs & Horses

Here is an insightful article on the differences between caring for dogs versus horses. It was written for writers who are not horse people but include horses in their novels. But, if you are thinking about buying a horse, read on!

For example: Woogie likes to share carrots with Sonny, but when they wag their tails it means two different things!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Did You Know? Pet Care Tips


Keep these supplies on hand for a variety of uses!
  • Peroxide: for cleaning wounds and also for wiping blood off the pet's coat.
  • Homemade Ear Solution: 50% white vinegar & 50% rubbing alcohol. Using a paper towel, dip it in the solution and gently clean out the ears. Heals up yeast infections, cleans ears after rolling in dirt or "dust bunny" ears!
  • Medicated Powder: for chubby pets that develop a heat rash under armpits, or on bottoms that may get a rash after a messy bottom.
  • Cotton Balls: damp one for cleaning each eye


From the ASPCA site:
See the site for details why, and other foods to avoid.
  • Chocolate, Coffee & Caffeine
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Milk, & Milk Products
  • Raw Meat & Eggs
  • Avocados
Also: Antifreeze, alcohol & in Florida, FROGS!


Q: We found a very large frog in our yard, is it poisonous to our dogs and cats?
A: Florida has only one toad that has a dangerous toxin to small animals, the Marine toad (a.k.a., Giant toad or Cane toad), scientific name: Rhinella marina (formerly Bufo marinus). Scroll down to see more information on Marine Toads. If you have found a very large FROG on your property and you live south of an imaginary line across the state from Cedar Key to Jacksonville, the frog is likely a Cuban Treefrog. Adult Cuban treefrogs are more than 3 inches long (not including legs). Another clue: Cuban treefrogs can climb vertical surfaces such as the exterior walls of your home, trunks of trees, etc. If you have found a very large frog or toad on your property and you live in the southern half of Florida, it could be a Cuban treefrog or a Marine Toad (a.k.a., Giant toad or Cane toad). Marine Toads are strictly terrestrial creatures, they cannot climb vertical surfaces. Marine Toads also have wartier skin and chunkier bodies than Cuban treefrogs. Please compare the photos and descriptions of these species on our website about Frogs and Toads of Florida.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is how your final lost pet poster should look.

Lost a pet? Here's a good site to check out for tips and a national list of Pet Detectives.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Article on Beach Riding!

Take Your Horse To The Beach For
Fun In Water
By Sharon Miner

 Imagine swimming astride your horse in the Atlantic Ocean. The waves crash against your legs and sea gulls fly overhead screeching as they search for food. The sun is warm and the air is salty.

 Deeper and deeper your horse swims, snorting in contentment as his body becomes buoyant. His legs instinctively churn the water as if galloping. You hold the mane tight as his power propels you up and down like a seahorse.
 Swimming with your horse in the ocean doesn't have to be a fantasy. With the show season finished and the pesky flies diminishing with the cooler nights, autumn is the perfect time to plan a day trip to the ocean.
 Indian River Inlet provides the ideal location. It is part of the Delaware Seashore State Park located on Route 1, just south of Rehoboth Beach. Known for its great surf fishing, Indian River has abundant parking areas, large enough for horse trailers.
 Riding is allowed anywhere the four-wheel drive vehicles access the beach. You cross the dunes via designated paths.
 The park is open all year, but due to the busy beach season, it is better to ride during the fall and early spring, when there is more room to run. Parking is often free after season, and there is only a nominal out-of-state fee when an attendant is there.
 It is important to bring whatever supplies you would pack for a horse show, including fresh water. Travel with a few friends to share the experience as well as the expense and drive time.

On the Sand
 Once your horse is groomed and tacked up (even better, ride bareback), don't forget the sunblock. The sun's rays reflect off the water and white beach and although the air may be cool, sunburn can still occur. If your horse has a white nose, apply sunblock to it, too.
 If this is your horse's first visit, he may be a little anxious about-the strange surroundings, even if he is a seasoned show horse. Depending on your experience and the disposition of your horse, you may want to hand-walk him on the beach before mounting.
 Once astride, take your time introducing your horse to the ocean. If you face the water, he may think you want him to cross it and he'll balk. When you ride parallel to the ocean, the waves create an optical illusion as they break on the shoreline and pull the sand back in their retreat. Your horse may prance sideways trying to avoid the waves' attack.
 It is better to acclimate him first by riding on the beach away from the water. Remember to avoid the sand dunes, especially since your horse may try to return to the trailer. There are heavy fines for riding on the dunes and damaging the natural grasses and wildlife.
 Start in the deep sand about halfway between the dunes and the water. Keep a lookout for trash and natural debris that may cause injury to your horse. When you have an open section of sand, free of other beach lovers and their vehicles, urge your horse into a trot and then canter.
 Don't worry if his power becomes alarming as he makes huge strides through the deep sand. What's he going to do, run away to New York? Let him have his head, rise up in a forward seat position and enjoy!
 I found that horses have difficulty trying to buck while running in deep sand. I also found that a lazy lesson horse suddenly has competitive qualities I never knew he possessed, as a group will race neck to neck. Like deep snow, deep sand makes maintaining a two-beat trot difficult; it is much easier to conquer with a four-beat walk or gallop.
In the Water
 Once your horse has adapted to the beach runs and is actually enjoying this different type of trail ride, introduce him to the water. Leg yield him closer and closer to the shoreline, and let him feel the hard-packed sand at a walk and gallop.
 As the waves approach, be firm with your leg commands if he tries to move away from the water. Let him smell the surf, but don't give in to his reluctance. Watch out for too much pawing; it often means the horse will roll!
 Some horses welcome the cool water and will swim in over their heads, especially if they have had experience swimming in ponds at home. Other horses, like some people, may not care for the water and only go in ankle deep.
Words of Warning
 A few words of caution: first and foremost, watch your horse's respiration rate when galloping. Although it may not be a 90 degree day with 99% humidity, the workout can tax even the horse that is in the best condition. When the horse's breathing becomes labored during a run, sit back and ask for him to slow down. Remain at a walk until his respiration and heart rates are more normal before asking for a gallop again.
 Second, unless you like to eat sand, ride side-by-side. The stronger horses will pull ahead, but it is better to not be directly behind them.
 Also watch for fishing lines, with or without the fishermen present. The lines are hard to see and it is easy to become entangled with them.
 Be observant of the other inhabitants. Dogs may feel compelled to bark at or even chase the horses. People with bare feet may want to come up to pet your horse and then get stepped on by a hoof.
 Remember to cool your horse before loading him back in the trailer. Hand walk him in the parking lot and loosen the saddle a little at a time. Remove the tack and rinse off the salt and sand from his face with a wet towel. There is no running water available on the beach, so a hosing will have to wait for when you arrive home.
 Due to the physical stress, this ride isn't recommended for older horses or those who show fatigue at home with heavy work.
 Also, timid riders should avoid this trip. The beach is not those who want a quiet excursion, rather, it is for those who want an adventure!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Advantages to Mobile Grooming

Recently, I joined the grooming team at Paw Wash Plus, based in New Port Richey, Florida. I'm continuing to groom dogs and cats in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in the Tampa Bay area.

Many pet owners are finding that requesting grooming with a mobile pet groomer has many benefits, to both the owner and the pet.
  • Pet is less anxious since it never leaves the driveway - it can see its house!
  • No contact with strange pets, so less stress and chance of catching something like fleas.
  • Less time with groomer since bathed, dried & groomed/clipped in an hour or two instead of being left at a pet salon for a half or full day.
  • No cages to be confined in!
  • The owner has no gas to travel to a pet salon.
  • The owner can set an appointment that is convenient for them, even on weekends.
  • Most mobile groomers (including Paw Wash Plus) give multiple pet discounts, referral discounts and new customer promos.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pets Itchy?

It's that time of year - cats and dogs are scratching, over licking and even pulling out their hair (my dog has a bald spot on his rump...)

Here is a link from Publix that is informative: