Thursday, 12 June 2014

Thank God for the Hay Net

The Texas HAYNET

I have three easy keepers who are outside 24/7. This is Canada and I would hate to be a horse and live outside. That's my perspective. I am a wimp. I love layers of clothing,wool socks and all my favourite Back On Track stuff.

I try to imagine what it would be like from the horse's point of view. I learned from my trusted vet that a free choice shelter is the healthy answer for our horses. Hence our run-in-shed. My horses seem to be happy and they are healthy. They have a choice of the run-in-shed, a copse of cedars, or the field. Often in the worst weather I see all of them in the field.

Feeding outside in the winter is a problem, especially with heavy snow. We use 4x4 round bales in our sheep operation and that's what's available for the horses. There is a lot of waste feeding rounds bales outside and the horses would hoover through a bale very quickly. This was not the best solution for easy keepers.

Four years ago we became aware of the slow feeder haynet. A new way for us to conserve and feed hay in a controlled way. In my research I found the Texas HAYNET. Equus magazine gave it rave reviews and after more research I ordered it from the US. Leslie Davis is the inventor of the Texas HAYNET. She created it originally for insulin resistant horses. 

We were very pleased with the Texas HAYNET and it really did make an impact on the conservation of hay. The horses took to it right away. Two nets would make management a little easier, so we looked for a Canadian manufacturer because of custom duty costs. 

Over the next two years we ordered nets from two different Canadian hay net companies. The first company produced a white cotton net that had holes within the first use. The second hay net, the Natural Alternative Grazer slow feeder - N.A.G net was a much better product. The N.A.G slow feeder is soft to the touch, but stands up well. We alternate the Texas hay net with the N.A.G slow feeder net. The N.A.G slow feeder net is produced in British Columbia by Many Blaise. 

Recently we added Leslie Davis's newest net (green) to our collection. We use the nets from September to May, so they get quite the work out. With our harsh winters we like to have a 4x4 bale in use, and two ready with the nets on in the barn. 

Saddle Rain Protection

Saddle Rain Protection

I'm short and most riding rain coats overwhelm me. I also find most rain coats hot and heavy. I could just wear a rain jacket, but I have an expensive saddle and I don't want it to get wet. 

I found a unique solution to my problem - Discovery Trekking's Saddle Rain skirt. This is perfect for camping as it is light weight and can be rolled up to fit behind the saddle. I love that it takes up very little room in our camping gear box.

I bought the extended style Saddle Rain Skirt. I could write on and on about the benefits and features, but check out my short You Tube video on Discovery Trekking's Saddle Rain Skirt.

I have the summer weight Saddle Rain Skirt which is just perfect for me. The sizes run a little large.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

First Lamb of the New Year

Welcome - the first Baby Ram Lamb of 2014!

The cold conditions do not deter birth. Our first ram lamb arrived in the early frigid temperatures on the morning of February 26, 2014. Thank goodness it is cozy in our old barn. 

Mom and babe are doing well. All is quiet. The other ewes are waiting expectantly for their lambs to be born. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Snow Time Blessings

Cut snow path

View of  Barn

Snow Time Blessings

I've been stuck inside for the week now due to extremely low temperatures. It is not advisable for people with heart  conditions to venture out in temperatures below -15 C.

Dylan, the snow dog, has been confined to his heated room in the barn. He's ready to light up the township with compressed energy. 

Attitude of Gratitude

I am grateful that the horses have two choices for shelter, the run-in shed, and the cedar copse. The N.A.G bag feeder has been a blessing and the four wheel drive tractor too. I am truly thankful for my wonderful husband who drives the tractor and sets up the round bale. 

Down to the last strands of hay in the N.A.G bag

As soon as the temperatures climbed, Dylan and I were out on the trail again. I am so pleased to be able to snowshoe and not sink into the snow. In some areas on the trail Dylan was not so lucky and he sunk to his middle. Dylan just stayed there with a bit of a sad look, then he was ready to venture on.  A true trail dog.
Dylan sunk chest deep in snow.

Dylan easily seen in his new vest.

Dylan has a new high visibility vest from Gear 4 Dogs. I was really pleased with this vest. It fit him well. He is highly visible in the bush as you can see in the photo. Without the vest a hunter could easily mistake him for a coyote.
In my cold, bleak, world I am grateful for all my blessings.