Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another success story......

.....from a new owner of a Hickory Lake Ranch horse, Ravin. I just love to read such incredible accounts of our horses in their new homes! Read below for the entire email as received from Ravin's new owner, Carol.
Thanks for sending this, Carol!!

"Hey Jessica,

I’m on vacation and haven’t been at work or at my e-mail for more than a week – I’ll be on vacation through New Year’s. This is a catch-up until I can get back to you then…

Ravin has been having fun exploring the place. She follows me around like a puppy, and let Joann’s 9 yr.old granddaughter lead her all over the property with a gentle hand. Next day (warm weather) she found the lake when loose and waded right out into it chest deep and splashed up a happy storm. I don’t think we have to worry about that bath you mentioned not having. Josh for the first time in his life tried it, copying her – she’s already working a miracle there. She climbed halfway up into the tack room with me just to see what I was up to, found a flock of geese at the lake and walked right into them, flapping wings and noise and all, and seemed delighted to be part of the flock, waded in after them until they flew off. I so wished I had my camera – looking down the hill at Ravin, big and black and beautiful, and all those black backs of the geese waddling along with her in the midst of them, her ears tilting playfully towards them, left and right. She found the way across the bridge and to the trails on the other side of the lake and lead Josh on a head high jaunt through the trails. She does that just about every day. She and Josh eat out of the same dish together now, and Josh will follow her everywhere, doesn’t want to be without her. I put out two dishes but they voluntarily share one and then go share the other one. So when I medicate Josh’s supper I have to separate them (who would have thought…) One day on the trail in the woods at the back fence line where other properties back up to this one, Ravin’s playful trotting caught the attention of one of the new home owners who came out of her house and up to the fence line to meet us, admiring Ravin. When I said she was half Friesian she said “I know !” I asked how she knew and she introduced herself as the coach of the equestrian team here at U.Ga. We had a good time getting aquainted and Ravin ate up the attention from our new friend.

I’m impatient for her new saddle to arrive. I finally just went out yesterday and got a longer girth so I can try my old saddle seat show saddle that is flat enough to use for now, and improvised a mounting block for our first few rides around the place… I’ll tell you all about them when I do. I’ll try not to go on and on…like now. Today will be a good day and I’m heading out there to the barn as soon as I send this. In the meantime I have been tacking her up every day without a girth anyway and walking around the place looking for a tree stump tall enough to allow me to ride her bareback.. Ha!

And the bonding continues… I’ve found her favorite scratching spots, and can put her in a trance now! Like under her jaw, and under her mane on the right side of her neck, and even her hind legs. If I’m sitting down on the tack room steps she’ll walk up close to me and I’ll draw lightly on her legs and chest with my fingers. She’ll move up until she has her hind leg right in front of my hands and then when I “draw” on her hind legs she “trances out”. May come in handy some day. She absolutely loves groomimg doesn’t she! One of Chumley’s bridles fits her and will still let out a lttle more as she grows, and I got her a new adjustable halter that will grow with her. I ordered a Wintec Wide saddle for her and now if I could just find that breaststrap.. just as well, she probably needs one her own size anyway. That’ll be next.

I chuckle when I think of delivery night, when you passed along Larry’s message that she could be lazy. I meant to tell you that since my car wreck I’m kind of lazy too so we’re just right for each other.

Oh and please send me a saveable copy of the videos before they get removed from your website. I still have people to e-mail the news to, who are too far away to come and see her yet for themselves. Plus I still like looking at them – I want to ask you and Larry for the dimensions of the control pillars and how did you make them, hollow out one big piece of lumber, or put sections together? They are the first things I want to make right away.

Have a very good Christmas and a very happy New Year! "

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful New Year :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Well, Christmas has come and gone for 2008. Whew! It was both exhilarating and exhausting :) Being the mother of three very young boys, part of a very large family with lots of in-laws, brothers, cousins, etc. and numerous furry and hoofed family members we have a busy holiday season!

Christmas is absolutely my most favorite time of the year. Around here it is the most miserable time of year for working with the horses and trying to spend anytime outdoors, but I just can't help but look forward to the Christmas spirit every year. The songs, the decorations, the get- togethers and, of course, celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

I hope that everyone reading had just as wonderful of a Christmas as we had. I hope that the New Year ushers in some incredible blessings in every one's lives, too!

Jessica and everyone at Hickory Lake Ranch :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Snow, Cold and Wet are here.......

........Well, here in Ohio the winter weather has officially set in. Around here that means WET, WET, WET and MUD, MUD, MUD....unless the ground is completely frozen!
The turn out (mud) lot is living up to it's name, the weather is frigid, and he horses have eternally wet/muddy pasterns when out. I guess the way to avoid this is the keep the horses in during these less than desireable months, but given a vote I think the horses would agree and want to be outside no matter the cold and/or wet they may endure!

If you also encounter the same issues in your sacrafice lot there is a few things you should know about removing the mud from their pasterns and fetlocks. Follows these simple rules for worry free winter skin and mud clean up:

  • Be sure that your horse(s) is not standing in mud or water 24/7. They need to be able to let their skin and hair coat dry out for at least several hours a day.

  • If your turn-out lot is wet/muddy 24/7 you will need to bring your horses in for several hours a day to allow their legs to dry out. (keep in mind that while good clean mud is great for your horses hooves, it is not good for their hair coat and skin over prolonged periods of exposure).

  • Once the mud has dried on their legs, use a curry comb to brush if out. NEVER use water to clean off already wet and muddy legs. When a horses hair coat and skin is wet and you add additional water it can help cause skin bacteria to grow and forces debris into their open pores. It is ALWAYS best to wait until the mud has dried and then you can brush it out, or if weather permits, wash it out.

  • Spraying a non-silicone based grooming spray on the fetlock and pastern area will help protect their skin and hair coat through the wet months, as well. It also makes brushing the mud out later go much smoother.

  • If your horse does develope a mud/rain rot on their pastern and/or fetlock (often referred to as "greased heels" or "dew poisining" in this area) first step is to get them in and keep them dry. Don't panic, as this condition is much more common during these wet times of year than you may think. You can purchase an over the counter fungus spray to use on them daily until the rot is gone. **Key is to catch and treat any bacteria or fungus right away. It can be uncomfortable and can become quite painful for your horse if it is left on the legs.

  • To treat your horse, make sure that you first remove all the scabs so that the medication can get to the organism. After removal of the scabs you can use an ointment like Desitin to relieve the condition and add a protective moisture barrier to the skin.

  • Once treatment has been started it typically clears up in 5-10 days.

If you have any mud/wet water tips that you use on your horses feel free to comment. We love to know what works for everyone else out there. There are always many different techniques and processes when it comes to caring for our horses. We want to hear yours!



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Carol's email to us after her first night with "Ravin", her new Friesian cross mare she purchased from us.......

.....the email from Carol read like this:

"Peaceful night passed grazing. I came in at 4am to help out another department until 9am, and will go out to the barn from here. Didn’t want you to wait til Monday to get news of Ravin’s settling in on her first night. I hope you folks had a good night’s rest in Macon .
Joann and I stayed a few hours and walked the fence line with her and parked the car out in the front pasture with the horses and finally took their halters off. I let Ravin have the first few minutes loose in the pasture by herself, taking Josh back out temporarily, and Ravin neighed and danced up into a beautiful trot, floating, extended, energetic, that left us breathless to watch even in the dark. We could see it because of the moonlight on her and we knew to look that way because we could feel it through the ground, and she had neighed. And she came right passed each of us, giving us an eyeful. It was impressive beyond anything I expected. Joann was on the phone with her husband and she said she almost dropped the phone in her thrill and awe watching the performance just a few yards away from us. Afterwards she settled down to looking past the gate to where Josh was.
Then I got Josh and brought him in with her, lead line on him till she could sniff him out all she wanted and still be safe from his advances. She was perfect and confident. When I took Josh’s halter off and he was eager to approach her with more than just friendliness on his mind, it only took her about 1 second to put him in his place. (Ha) I have never seen him more humbled, properly and effectively. (He’s a gelding technically but he is what they called “proud cut”. You know, left a little tissue behind accidentally that produces too much testosterone to act like a gelding all the time.) He’s nice to humans but bossy to other horses. Now that Ravin has put him in his place, he’s looking like he’s figuring out how to act all over again, and how respectful to be and how to approach and how close…and when… and if the Queen Lady allows it! I love it. She’s earned her keep already with me. It was going to be a quiet night from now on. Ravin’s insuring that. My one worry had been staying out there all night with occasional squealing and striking going on until they settled down. But after another hour of quiet and our amusement at Josh’s accurate copying of her every step with one of his own to keep his distance, we packed it in for the night and I went home and got some of best sleep I have had in months. By the way, just seconds after Ravin drove Josh off with a few kicks and displayed a show of force and went back to her hay, I was curious enough to walk up and put my hand softly on her chest and asked her to yield and move away from her hay for me, a stranger, and she did with little pressure. I was trying to see not just if, but how little it would take. It took very little. I picked up her front foot, then her hind foot, she let me hold each easily, I stroked her leg a little delaying putting each one down, and was pleased she was gently allowing me to, seconds after kicking Josh away. Josh is unhurt, it just deflated his ego.
Joann and I had supper parked out in the pasture, and we noticed the horses had moved and looked around for them, knowing they had been somewhere behind us. Joann touched the brake to use the glow of the tail lights and we saw Ravin beside the back left passenger window, checking out the car and turning to walk away. We could only see part of her. She so dwarfed the car that we both said at the same time OO-OO-OO This is just like Jurassic Park !
I’m going to go to the barn now and spend a little time with grooming and bonding. Thank you again. I can’t say it enough.


Thank you, Carol! We hope that you enjoy her this much every day for many many years to come!
Jessica and the rest of the gang at Hickory Lake Ranch

Georgia and Florida horse deliveries a success!

Today we are headed back north with the horse trailer in tow......empty! We had two very successful deliveries of horses to their new homes this past weekend, but I hate coming home with an empty trailer. I always try to find at least one or two horses that will work for our program on our trips, but just couldn't find any suitable this time around.

Ravin, who was delivered Friday, and Silver, who was delivered on Saturday, are both settling into their new homes nicely.

We have gotten a wonderful report from Carol, Ravin's new owner in Georgia and I will post that in the next blog. She writes beautifully about her first night with Ravin at home.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Delivering "Ravin" to her new home in Athens, GA......

Yesterday we packed up the crew (we have three young boys ages 2, 5 & 7) to deliver Ravin and Silver to their new homes in Georgia and Florida.

We have family in Florida and decided that perhaps we should combine the trip and drive on out to visit our family in FL after delivering Silver to her new home in the Tampa area.

We left @ 7am and arrived at Ravin's new home in GA around 7pm. It was a long day, but enjoyable. The girls (horses) were great on the trip and enjoyed their frequent breaks with treats and lots of new hay, water, etc. Even the kids were very well behaved. It helped to have set up the video system, playstation, nintendo, and whatever else it is that they have back there!

Upon arriving at Ravin's new home we unloaded her and introduced her to her new pasture mate, Josh. She was so excited to be off of the trailer and have her feet back on solid ground!

Silver waited patiently in the trailer and didn't make a peep as her best friend left her place in the trailer and went to get introduced to her new surroundings. I was so proud of Silver and her sweet accepting spirit after 12 hours traveling!

Ravin's new owner, Carol, is a sweet and wonderful woman. I am so happy for Ravin to have such a wonderful new home with gorgeous grazing pastures and a loving new friend!

Carol had even made up a gift basket for my family with all kinds of wonderful goodies for our trip (bagels, yogurt, tea, chips) and a bag of apples and carrots for all of our horses! Silver has been enjoying those immensely over the last few hours!

Now we are heading through FL on our way to deliver Silver to her new owner, Teresa. She will be so happy to finally be home and out of the metal box on wheels!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Blogging!

Hi Everyone and thanks for taking a look at our new blogspot!

We look forward to providing some great info to the public in regards to horses and horse training in general going forward.

A horse sales and training business with locations in both Ogilvie, MN (just north of the twin cities) and Batavia, OH (just east of Cincinnati) we live and breath horses!

In the past we have offered everything from Walkers to Thoroughbreds to QH to Paints, but these days we are focusing our training and sales program in the Draft and Draft cross arena.

Please take a moment to check out our website @ www.HickoryLakeRanch.com.
You will find videos of our fully trained horses, many pictures and info on our horses for sale, currently in training to be available for sale soon and also our sold horses.

Please check back, as we will post relevant training and horse care articles going forward and as often as possible.

Thanks again for checking out our blogspot!
Hickory Lake Ranch