Showing posts with label Farm Horses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farm Horses. Show all posts

Training Horses with Goals and a Plan! FREE Sample Journal!

Training Horses with a plan! This journal helped me reach my goals with my horse last year and beyond! Get organized and make your dream horse trained the way you want a reality! If I can do it so can anyone!!! #traininghorses #horsetrainingjournal

It's almost warm enough for me to really get serious about training horses!! Which means set official goals and get my farm horses on a more regular training schedule! I couldn't do it without a Training journal planner!

This year I have major plans for 3 of my miniature farm horses and my pony mare I really want to accomplish some things with!

Training Horses with a plan!
My Pony Mare, Biana. Already a wonderful riding horse but I have plans to train her as a working Farm Horse!

Setting Goals and Making a Plan for Training Horses 

Last year I set my goals for Bianca.  The goals were, I wanted her to slow down (she's a bit warm!), I wanted a better whoa and I wanted her to learn some advanced cues, like backing up when I lightly take my legs forward. I used several training DVD's and some youtube videos to develop a plan to accomplish these things. I also joined Mustang Maddy's Club and watched her case studies on the different horses she trained. Very helpful when making my own case studies which gave me a lot of insight into my horses! (A case study page is included in the FULL journal)

I knew to keep on track of a plan and her progress I would need a planner or journal or some sort. I ordered a Horse training journal but it was a waste of money. There weren't any goal setting pages or daily planner pages.. just a bunch of notebook lines and sappy horse quotes. Not what I needed to be successful with my horse! The other horse training journals on the market I found were just plain old notebooks with pretty covers that offered no guidelines in helping me make horse training goals and plans either! Quite useless and uninspiring for the tasks I had in mind. 

Being a very planner oriented person I set out to make my own which kept me on track so that I not only stayed the course and accomplished my goals with Bianca. I accomplished more than I set out to do with her! 

This is a good article on developing a Training Plan for a horse Develop a Plan that Works

Training Horses with a Purpose!

I'm no professional trainer! In fact, I've only been riding horses for about 2 1/2 years! Just like homesteading and growing food I jumped right in with both feet and didn't look back! I did start out with an excellent trainer and took horsemanship lessons for about 4 months before I got my own horse. 
Bianca taught me really fast that to own a horse is to become a trainer. With all the available information out there, learning to train your own horse for your goals isn't that difficult.

Where to start can be difficult though! That's why I start with the goal setter page I created. That is my purpose. After that, I gather the horse training information I need (DVD's, Youtube, Clubs) to set the plan to reach that goal into steps. I record the lesson plan and progress. I take notes and make a case study to help me understand my horse better. 
I designed pages for my journal for each of these things. 

Training my Farm Horses this year: Goals

  • The goal for Bianca this year is to get her to pull a wagon. 
  • The goal for mini farm horse Comanche is to also pull a wagon, though smaller one! And to work more on Liberty with him. He has a flair for it! 
training horses, training miniature farm horses
Comanche is a larger, stocky mini horse that is very full of himself and really needs a job!
  • My goal for Dreamy is to get her pulling the cart without sass! and team her with Stormy. 
  • My goal for Willow is to get her broke to drive and pair her with Comanche if Comanche is ready. 
Miniature horses can be used for farm work as long as they have appropriate sized equipment. Need more reasons to have a miniature horse check out this post Reasons to have miniature horses on your farm

This is a neat article on Magnificent Miniature Horses that contains a lot of history on the breed.
Also I love this article about the farmer using his miniature horses to mow hay! Mini Horse Haying Talk about goals!! 

Training Horses with a Journal Planner

I wouldn't have accomplished my goals last year and I won't accomplish them this year with a record-keeping planner which I am now offering to others to help them achieve their dream goals with training horses! I'm also into natural horse care so I extended the journal to contain DIY herbal remedies for horses and essential oil and herbs for horses guide! There is also a health record sheet!

You can get the FULL journal here Ultimate Horse Training Journal

Training horses with the ultimate horses training journal #horsetraining #traininghorses #homesteader

Not sure about keeping records to reach your goals?
I've got some sample pages of the horse training journal for you to try here for Free. You'll get the cover page, a notes page, and the daily training page to try out.

Training Horses and Natural Horse Care go together!

Taking ultimate care of my horses is important to me. I believe in natural health care for my self and family as well as my horses. The less exposure to chemicals my horses have the better!
Chemical fragrances have been proven to lead to many hormone and health issues for humans. I can't help but think these even less regulated chemicals for horse grooming products are equally or maybe harder on our super sensitive horses. 
I mentioned I have 5 DIY herbals for horses in my horse training journal. Here are 2 of the recipes you can try out for free!

Accomplishing Horse Training Goals

I truly, truly hope my post and my journal (free sample pages or the Full version) help you achieve your horse training goals like it has helped me! If a major horse newbie such as myself can train my own horse and accomplish my goals then I know you can too!

If you have any questions about the Horse Training journal and herbs for horses guides please don't hesitate to email me!

Until next time! Happy homesteading and horse training!

Reasons your Farm needs Miniature Horses

There are many many reasons to have miniature horses on your farm. Some are fun, some are logical and some you may have never heard of! Find out more facts about these incredible little horses that can make your dream farm better! #miniaturehorses #minihorse #farmhorse

One of the best decisions I've made in my 10 years of having this farm was to add miniature horses to it! They have brought me unbelievable amounts of joy since the first one arrived.
After my first miniature horse, Stormy, I bought 2 mini mares, then traded for 2 more mini mares then was given a miniature horse stud on trade for a future foal.
As much as I love my riding mare I worry about how long I will be able to handle the workload and cost of keeping her. She isn't a hard keeper but she certainly eats a lot more than a miniature horse and she requires shoes because she has tender feet. She also requires much more training than the miniatures do because she doesn't learn as fast. I love her dearly but these are real concerns. There's only so many hours in the day and limited money in the bank.
If you are looking for fun and love horses but are afraid of the common reasons not to get a horse (can be dangerous, expensive to feed, the time commitment for training, high maintenance care cost) then a miniature horse for your farm might be the answer!

5 Reasons to have Miniature Horses on your Farm

Driving miniature horses on your farm

  1.  Driving miniature horses is one of the more expensive activities but I got into it but still for less than the cost of a good riding horse! You can read about that here Driving Miniature Horse on a Budget There are plenty of days I just do not have the energy to clean up and tack up my mare for a ride. It takes me twice as long to groom her as it does a miniature horse. Although riding is relaxing I find driving much more so relaxing! And being able to take my grandson on a cart ride is priceless! I'll never forget that big grin on his face
  2. Safer than a large horse. Especially for someone with no prior equine experience. I learned the hard way that buying a 16 HH horse was not the best option because of my lack of experience with a horse like that and for many other reasons! As someone who is only 5'5 I felt awkward and intimidated working with him. He knew it too! If he got an attitude with me he could really kick out! Meanwhile, training miniature horses isn't intimidating at all! It's fun and if they kick out with some attitude and do get me (which they never have..yet) it's not likely to be life-threatening like it was with the bigger horses. I also feel much better with my grandson around the little ones too. Even a docile large horse can seriously hurt someone and not even mean too.
  3. Easier to train. I find them to be extremely fast learners! What takes my miniature horses to learn in a couple of days takes my riding mare and other larger horses I've worked with weeks to learn! If ever! Which works nicely for me because I'm used to training poodles and Dobermans, which learn extremely fast. I call my minis the poodles of the horse world :-) Training a miniature horse is a blast! Here is one of my Pinterest boards on Liberty Training which they excel at! Liberty Horse Training Ideas 
  4. Economical. Common sense is going to tell you they eat less than a big horse! Much less! But did you know it actually cost more to keep one of my dogs than a mini horse? They also do not need to be trimmed by a farrier as often as big horses. Honestly, if you've trimmed a goat, sheep or alpaca you can trim your miniature horses' hooves and save even more money which is what I have learned to do.  I will admit you can get a little crazy with the tiny cute tack, thank goodness for craigslist and ebay where I can usually find good deals! But it is really not necessary for my miniature horses to have purple leg boots and matching halters! or is it ;-)
  5. Pasture and yard maintenance No kidding around here! My miniature horses eat weeds and browse better than my goats did! They are not picky at all! Keeps the pastures and the yard looking nicer! Yet they don't completely destroy pastures and pull roots up like sheep do!
Miniature horses actually do a better job of eating weeds that goats without destroying pastures like sheep! #miniaturehorse #farmhorse
Comanche enjoying weeds in the vineyard area that had been closed off all summer.

Miniature Horses as Farm Work Horses

Those are some logical and even fun reasons to keep miniature horses on your farm. Now here are some reasons to keep miniature horses for a more serious-minded homesteader who wants more contribution from their farm animals!

  1. Using a miniature horse for farm work is a real thing! I'm currently working with one on my stockier bodied miniature horses hoping to prepare him for some hauling work with a wagon. Most people don't realize that miniature horses were once used to work coal mines! These strong little workhorses were put to work at 4 years of age and retired in their late teens. They hauled heavy coal all day, lived in the minds stables and were known as 'pit ponies'. Here is an article on  Celebrating Pit Ponies. Now obviously I'm not suggesting we work our miniature horses like this but the article shows what they were bred for and are very capable of working! For a more recent look into farmers using miniature horsepower, check out this article from small farmers journal on Mini Horse Haying
  2. Mare's milk is a real thing! If you've been on my blog at all you'll know I'm a huge fan of donkey milk because it improved my health! Here are some of my posts on the subject Donkey Milk Posts. But Mare's milk has a similar nutritional profile making it a wonderful choice for an alternative for people who have digestive issues and milk allergies like me! Much like donkey milk, Mare's milk is not a new thing either Wikipedia Mare's Milk! And it's still widely used in parts of Asia and making a comeback in parts of Europe! You can read about Mare's Milk benefits in this article Milk and Health Mare's Milk. For taste and health benefits equine milk is definitely my choice for milk! I can feed a mini mare for less than a dairy goat which saves me money on a very useful medicinal food source we need.
  3. Horse manure makes big gardens possible! It wasn't until I brought in the donkeys that I had enough compost to fertilize my own gardens without having to bring any in! Donkey manure breaks down faster and isn't as nutrient dense as horse manure though. Horse manure is actually slightly higher than cow manure in nutrients! And nowhere near as smelly as poultry manure! Its less likely to spread a disease to humans and properly dried makes a good fire starter! Some farmers even report it keeps deer out of gardens like in this article Mother earth News: Oh Deer not horse manure! Deer often graze with my horses so I don't think they dislike horses on my farm. But overall, Horse manure makes all my gardens possible, which is a huge part of our self-reliance and the main way out of the grocery stores!
So as you can see there are some very practical reasons to keep miniature horses (and donkeys) on a working farm!
Keeping miniature horses on a farm provides enjoyment, pasture management and help with farm work amount other things! #farmhorse #maresmilk #miniaturehorses

Already have a horse or donkey? You can check out my

Looking for healthy ways to keep your costs down on equine check out my DIY herbal health and grooming recipes
Rain Rot Remedy
Homemade Fly Repellent

There are many other reasons the keep miniature horses on a farm, I'm sure! Especially for a horse lover who can't ride or doesn't have room or money for a big horse. They are amazing little equine and have brought huge joy to me every day I go out to the barn and see them. Their energy is contagious! It's impossible to be unhappy when one of my little guys comes up and nuzzles me for scratches. If I'm feeling a little lazy with my workouts I know I can halter up a mini horse who is always ready for a nice hike.
So, although my mare was the one who got me into fitness so I could ride better, my miniature horses actually help keep me motivated! So many reasons, my friends, so many reasons :-)
They have truly been a blessing on our farm.

Rain Rot in Horses and other Livestock Free Herbal Recipe!

A DIY herbal recipes for preventing rain rot in horses, dogs and other livestock!

UGH! How I hate rain rot! My first year with my own horses I got a rude awakening with that crap. Since I like my horses to live outside naturally in a herd. I do have to take steps to prevent rain rot here in the southeast. Especially since my horses (and donkeys) LOVE standing in the rain!

The first year I tried several options at my local co-op and TSC. They were kind of pricey and didn't deliver the results I wanted for my horses. So I dove in and did some research, got some advice from one of my vets and came up with an excellent formula to help prevent and treat rain rot in horses.
If you are unfamiliar with what rain rot really is here is a good article from Practical Horseman
Rain Rot

With my previous know how using essential oils and herbs with equine and other livestock I decided to combine comfrey oil, frankincense and tea tree for my own solution. Here's why:

Key Ingredients For my Rain Rot Home Remedy Spray

Frankincense oil helps soothe skin that is irritated, itchy or damaged and is known to promote cellular health and immunity! It is perfectly safe for horses and people.
Tea Tree Oil is a broad spectrum antiseptic with high levels of biocidal activity against bacteria, fungi, and insects.
Comfrey oil is one of my all-time favorites for skin healing. Its an excellent source of vitamin B12 and allantoin! I make a comfrey oil infusion. Typically using olive or sunflower oil.

For a more informed look at Essential oils and herbs safe for horses, you can check out my Horse Training Journal which has essential oils and herbs for horses guide

Horse Training Journal with essential oil and herbs for horses guide! Plus DIY natural horse care recipes! #naturalhorsecare #farmhorses

Quick Note: How to make Herbal Infusions

If you don't know how It is super easy to make infusions. I typically make all my infusions on sunny days. I add I cup of dried herbs to a quart jar and 3 cups of the chosen oil. Let sit for a week in the sun and strain out. Its crazy good stuff. If it's not sunny or you need an infusion asap you can make it in a tiny crock pot. Let set on high for 4 hours or low overnight and strain. Ready to use!

The rest of the recipe

  • Most of us know the wonderful benefits ACV which is wonderful for Fungus, burns, wounds and skin infections! So it's a perfect element to add. 
  • Vegetable glycerin is soothing and reduces skin inflammation. 
  • Vitamin E is amazing for skin healing.

That's why I added these particular ingredients.
Now the recipe!

Rain Rot Horse Home Remedy Spray

1/2 cup ACV 1/4 Cup Comfrey Oil
2 Cups of Water
1 Tsp. Vitamin E oil
20 Drops of Frankincense OIl
20 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable Glycerin

Herbal recipe for rain rot in horses and dogs

Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake well. Pour into a spray bottle. Shake vigorously before applying to the affected area. This helps keep my horses free of nasty rain rot during rainy times.
I tend to use as a preventative on the horses I know love to stand in the rain more than others for an ounce of prevention!
 I've not had a problem with rain rot since I started using this formula.
I hope it helps your horses like it has mine!

**Rain rot can also occur in dogs, donkeys, and other livestock, especially for those of us living in a humid climate. This can be used on any livestock and dogs for various skin conditions. I've also used it on my donkeys for dry itchy skin irritations.
My horses also LOVE to get in the pond and creeks at the first sign of warmth! Also doesn't help but they sure do love it!
Rain rot in horses DIY herbal remedy! #horses #naturalhorsecare

Other Herbal recipes for natural horse care I make

Fly season is right around the corner! For another great natural FREE  DIY recipe for your horses or other livestock check out my Homemade Horse Fly Repellent

Don't forget If you'd like these recipes and more DIY herbal recipes for horses with a training journal, health record sheet, AND an essential oil and herbal horse guide you can get one here Equine Training Journal with many Bonus pages!

I worked hard on this journal and it has been such a help to me with managing my horses and donkeys I'm really excited about it as you can probably tell! 😃

Other Happenings on the farm!

Change of subjects!!! Spring is coming fast! I've got my early tomatoes up and now my snow peas and radishes are coming up too! Lots of other seeds are started and up in the greenhouse!

I've only got this small greenhouse that my husband bought me for Christmas the first year we moved to the farm. Its been a great germination starter for early seeds, I've used it do sun infuse herbal oils and plant dyes, I've used it as a dehydrator and even to dry freshly washed wool for spinning yarn! 
Just goes to show you don't have to spend a lot of money on a greenhouse to have a useful one! This one has stood up to the weather for 8 years now! This year was the first year we had to replace a few panels. We got it from Harbor Freight.
I feel its important to say I'm not an affiliate! This is just a really good little greenhouse for the money and I wanted to share this because it's worked well on our homestead!! With so many people recommending products they don't even own because they get a commission it's sometimes hard to know what is a real recommendation these days! But here it is at my back deck! Love this little greenhouse!

Perfect greenhouse for diverse small homestead! #homesteader #homesteadgarden

Though I do dream of high tunnels sometime... I've been able to grow all our veggies all year without one so far. Anyone out there ever built one of those cattle panel high tunnels? That's what I'd really like to add!!! It is on the 'garden project list' with so much other stuff!!! 🤣

I have lots of ideas pinned on my boards if you'd like to check them out here Homestead Pinterest Boards

I love a good DIY!
Hope you have a blessed week!

DIY Hay Feeder : A Cheap and Easy Way to Stop hay waste!

When I decided to add a couple of horses to the farm I needed to start feeding round bales. It's just too expensive to feed square all the time. When you have a fairly large herd of donkeys, sheep, goats, llamas or horses saving on the winter hay bill is a big deal!

DIY Hay Feeder! Reduce waste and Save money on hay!

So my husband (the Bald Man) came up with an awesome DIY hay feeder that drastically reduced waste and kept the hay nice and dry!

So check out our DIY Hay Feeders!

DIY Hay Feeder! Reduce wasted hay and save money!

It cost us less than $65 each to make these. Keeps the hay dry. It's sturdy!
It keeps them from pulling so much hay on the ground and pooping on it. Now the barn stays cleaner with the bales not being inside plus there's more room for everyone if someones being a bit grumpy and trying to hoard the hay!

The hog panel cut into and placed at the bottom front keeps the hay back nicely, no one steps in and they can just lean in and eat.
Wish we had thought of this last year!! But oh well, I had lots of mulch hay!

The materials used: cattle panel over the top, 4 posts to steady the sides, tarp over the top, pallets to sit the hay on and help keep it from getting wet and moldy, a modified hog panel tied across the front to hold the pulled out hay in.
This is really going to also cut down on my chore time without having to constantly shovel up wasted poop hay! As well as save us money!

Since they like to stand, eat and poop in front of the hay for hours the Bald Man does have to use the tractor to scoop up the manure. Actually again, this saves me time hauling manure out of the barn or stalls to the compost pile.

These DIY hay feeders have worked really well for Donkeys, sheep, llamas and our horses. It works ok for some goats, but with goats being such jerks, for the most part, they jumped over the hog panel, climbed over the hay, pooping and peeing on it as they did. So the biggest hay wasters of all time figured out how to ruin this too! Its no wonder I no longer have goats! 🤣

Rescue Donkey Works

And On another note...
This is Shani. Just brought her in last night. Her owners were divorcing and just needed her gone. Sad circumstances have left her a little neglected.Rescue donkeys placed in good homes

She's a little thin, needs her hooves trimmed and needs deworming as well as her vaccinations.
She is a nice donkey though. Someone loved her one time because she's Halter and lead trained well.
She's the prettiest sorrel I've seen on a donkey. She's the largest donkey here so I sure am glad we got those DIY hay feeders made up! 
I think she will be impressive once I get her in shape and in good health! She'll be evaluated with small livestock and tested with dogs to see her potential as a livestock guardian. Then she'll be placed in an appropriate farm home. 

If you've been thinking about getting a donkey for your farm check out my Donkey Care Primer ebook. Its everything you should know before you bring home a donkey!

Everything you need to know before you bring home a donkey! Donkey care basics!

Wondering what all you can do with a donkey beside have it guard? You can go to Donkeys On the Farm to learn more about what I've used mine for and other care tips too! 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our DIY Hay feeders! I hope they can help you stop hay waste and save money on hay like they have for us!

Other places you can find us!

You are welcome to check out Homestead and Horses Pinterest boards. 
You can often find updates on our Facebook page Gods Blessing Farm
and more pictures and updates on our Instagram Homesteaders Journey  

Hope Y'all have a Happy & Blessed Week!

**ALL photos you see are from my actual Homestead. I do not need to use purchased stock photos. What you see on my blog is REAL! 

Homemade Horse Fly Repellent and healing salve

Homemade horse fly repellent and healing salve recipe! Very easy to make and works wonderfully even in the southeast! #farmhorse #homemadeflyrepellent #homesteader

It's important to me that I keep my horses and donkeys as well as other livestock and dogs as chemical free as possible!! 

I came up with this Homemade Horse fly repellent a few years ago when I started milking donkeys because I use the milk in my soaps and we drink it I had to come up with a way to repel flies naturally! 

I use the manure of my equine in my garden, which I prefer to keep organic! Chemicals soak into the skin and many are still present in the manure and urine 🙁
I also have to take into consideration our ponds because the chemicals can run off and kill fish and our honey bees which may be sensitive to the chemical sprays.

Compared to other dairy animals I've managed the donkey and the miniature horse is easier to keep chemical free. 
But when It's summer the equine in general draw flies which require sprays...that are full of chemicals! Ugh!
Honestly, the flies barely notice my traditional colored donkeys and dark colored miniature horses but they absolutely harass my light colored donkeys and my white horse! 

So I came up with a fly repellent salve that also has skin healing agents to soothe bites! It works SO well on their legs and ears!! 
My husband has also used it on some of his meishan pigs ears with great success! And our dogs!
I've used it on myself too when we go riding!

I have to apply it once or twice a week depending on it they get in the pond or it rains.
Works fantastic !!!! 
And if you'd like to try it, here's the formula :

Fly Repellent Salve 

8 oz. of comfrey infused olive oil
1 oz. beeswax
1 tsp. Cedar essential oil 

I melt the beeswax in the comfrey oil using a small crock pot.
Once melted remove from heat and add cedar oil.
Pour into tins or 4 oz. jelly jars work well. Thats it!

Having a fan in the barn also helps keep the bedding dry and not as attractive to the flies.

About Milking Donkeys and mares

Maybe you think I'm crazy Because I milk donkeys,, yes, you read that right, I milk them and I drink it!
It's light, sweet, refreshing. Unlike any other milk, I've tried.
Not only is it a really fantastic excuse to have lots of these awesome creatures on a subsistence farm like ours, 
It's a health food that's been used for centuries to nourish, heal and beautify. 
From this beast of burden comes such a wonderful gift...,
Here is a link if you're interested in more details about the nutrition of this white gold Donkey Milk

Donkeys and miniature horses fit in here better than any other dairy animal I tried. Though not trait bred here in the USA for dairy, I still refer to them as my dairy donkeys because that's what I will be trait breeding them for. Mare's milk is similar in nutrients and also really good for those with autoimmune and food sensitivities. They are also better at producing enough manure for my large gardens, better at keeping the land nice and much much less expensive to feed than the dairy goats and sheep I had. So they just work out all the way around here!

My equine have such an easy way about them and the good energy I love! They are a joy to work with.
I look forward to every day getting up to see them!! 
Keeping them organic is a little extra work but worth it since I'm depending on the milk as a healthy food source and the manure as nutrients for my organic garden. As well as an organic product for my customers!! 
You can try some donkey milk soap for yourself here Handworks Etsy Shop

A fun post about a few other uses for Donkeys Useful Donkeys and their Products

More Equine Information

If you are thinking about getting a donkey for your farm do check out my ebook on Amazon. Donkey Care Primer

For another DIY herbal check out my Rain Rot Remedy too Rain Rot Remedy for equine

Want even more DIY equine herbals? Wrapped up with a training journal, health record page, goal setting page, Essential oil and herbs for equine guides??! If the answer is yes you may want to check out my Equine Training Journal and Bonus Pages! Then you should check this out!

Looking for more equine ideas for your homestead? Check out our Pinterest boards! Homestead and Horse Boards