Sunday, March 14, 2010

Playing Ball

With nasty weather rolling through, today was a great day to stay indoors and enjoy some quiet time with the horses.   This included spending extra time doing pre-spring makeovers, grooming and shedding out some of the shaggy winter coats, removing any little knots in the tails, and tidying up manes.   Old and young all enjoyed the TLC, nearly falling asleep in the cross-ties.   It was all very chilled out, low key, and relaxing.

After a snack, Jeddien and I did a bit of ridden work in the arena.   To cool down afterwards, we played with the Parelli ball.

Playing with the huge inflated ball is a unique way to help the horses learn new skills and become calmer about new things.

Jeddien pushes the ball around with her nose and her legs.   And like a good ball player, she can kick the ball with both her left foot and her right.   Sure, it might seem a bit goofy, but it's a good laugh we enjoy together!     :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Refusing to Perpetuate Gloom & Doom

In broad financial terms, Holy Moly!, what a century it has been so far!   First the bubble burst, with a resounding Dot KaaaBoooom!   I personally lost A LOT of money on the stock market.   Ouch!   Then the USA was attacked and the US started (or continued?) spending bilions of dollars on yet another war.   More recently, the big financial institutions broke all their piggy banks.   And the auto makers cried that they weren't making profits.   Of course, as usual, the government is blamed and now Tea Parties are coming back into fashion.

Closer to home, we feel the financial down turn as well.   My former employer, Sun Microsystems, was bought out after way too many unprofitable quarters.   Several rounds of layoffs impacted tens of thousands of employees across the globe.   After 20 years of service, most recently as a Director, I was laid off as well.

Thank you for your contributions.   Good luck finding a new job.

And Kearsarge Meadows feels the pinch as well.   The price of good quality shavings, used for bedding for the horses, has continued to raise in price over the past 5 years.   Thankfully, the price of good quality local hay has not increased at the same rate.   Horse owners who can still afford to own horses are tightening their belts, budgeting less dollars for lessons, shows, and board.

But even with the income slowing down, we are still paying our employees, matching Medicare & FICA contributions, paying taxes, and buying insurance.   And, as promised when we hire them, our employees still get their well deserved pay raises in thanks for their continued good work.

Thanks go to our wonderful clients who continue to give us their custom, allowing us to stay in business, and continue staffing excellent horse loving employees.   Together, we continue to see through and beyond the gloom and doom.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Vaccinations

A true sign that Spring is on the way is Spring Vaccination Day at Kearsarge Meadows.   Each year, before show season swings into gear, we get all of our residents vaccinated against several equine ailments.   This is part of our preventative medicine program.

(Photo from TNT Equine showing Dr. Deme Erickson, DMV) giving a shot

Friday, March 5th, Dr. Jen Sula, DMV, from Blackwater Veterinary Services in Salisbury NH will visit.  Working her way down the barn, she will check each horse one by one.   Heart sounds, gut sounds, respiration, eyes, and a visual check of their overall condition.

Next, each will receive vaccinations against:
Fortunately, instead of jabbing each horse 7 times, some of the vaccinations are provided in combo shots.

Finally, blood will be drawn from those who will be out and about competing this year.   It's sent to the University of New Hampshire's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory where they test for Equine Infectious Anemia in what is known as the "Coggin's Test".   Proof of a negative result is required to compete.

Some may question the expense of this spring ritual.   However, we have enjoyed an excellent record of horsey health.   And therefore, no vet bills for nasty equine illnesses.   We really like Preventative Medicine!