Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vinegar for Horses...a miracle cure?

"Long a folk remedy, cider vinegar has been shown to improve the health of dairy cows, horses, dogs and other animals. It reduces common infections, aids whelping, improves stamina, prevents muscle fatigue after exercise, increases resistance to disease and protects against food poisoning. Cider vinegar is rich in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in apples, especially potassium; it normalizes acid levels [pH] in the stomach, improves digestion and the assimilation of nutrients, reduces intestinal and fecal odors, helps cure constipation, alleviates some of the symptoms of arthritis and helps prevent bladder stones and urinary tract infections." By Wanda Barras

I have read alot over the years about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for horses. Taken orally, ACV has many healing and detoxifying properties with no negative side effects. You could mix ACV with your horse's grain, or add it to their water. Remember that when changing anything in a horse's diet you must do it gradually to prevent digestive upsets. Begin with a low dose of ACV and increase it over a few days to the full amount. I add it to my horse's Beet Pulp (which is soaked in water), and she loves it. It also really seems to keep the flies away.

For a healthy horse, use 1/4 cup (60 ml) of unpasteurized ACV on his feed per day. Dilute the vinegar 50/50 with water before adding to the feed.
Because of it's potassium and associated trace mineral content, this feed supplement is invaluable for mares coming up to foaling and it is also beneficial for older horses with digestive difficulties or arthritis. Besides the nutritional benefits, vinegar helps to purify the drinking water by destroying harmful microorganisms that can thrive in neutral or mildly basic water.

*Promotes healthy joints.
*Enhances skin and coat health.
*Balances the horse's pH.
*Boots immune system health.
*Helps to dissolve calcium deposits in kidneys and bladder, and around joints and helps prevent intestinal stones called enteroliths.
*Improves urinary tract health.
*Stimulates proper digestion.
*Helps horse to resist internal and external parasites.
*Contains beneficial enzymes.
*Flushes the body of toxins.
*ACV has natural antibiotic properties.
*Helps to calm a nervous horse.
*ACV makes horse blood unsuitable for insects, and acts as a repellent.
*May help improve and relieve arthritis.

Uses of ACV Around the Stable

*Fly Spray: A great tried, tested and true recipe for ACV fly spray is mixing equal parts water, ACV and Avon Skin-So-Soft. Black tea has also been mixed in with success. This fly spray is safe and gentle for your horses, children and yourself. You'll find that your horse's coat is softer than ever!

*Topically: ACV helps to reduce swelling. Take care not to put in an open wound. It also has antifungal properties and can be used to treat ringworm.

*ACV has long been used on racehorses for swollen hocks, bowed tendons. Dampen a quilted leg wrap and apply to the affected leg. Wrap with a polo wrap. We leave them on over night. The swelling is gone by morning.

*Thrush Buster: Spray ACV on your horse's soles and frog to prevent or treat thrush. Much more gentle than bleach and cheaper than other remedies! By making the hoof area more acidic, fungus is no longer able to grow well there.

*ACV and Water: Adding ACV to your horse's fresh water supply is easy and an efficient way of making sure your horse is consuming ACV. Add a cup or so of ACV into your water tank. (Less if in a bucket). Remember, start with a little and work up to the full dose over several days. This will help keep the water tanks and buckets free of bacteria and build up. (Do not use ACV in metal buckets or tanks!) If all your horses are taking ACV, you'll be amazed to notice less flies around your stable general. ACV makes a horse's blood unsuitable for flies and pests. If your water tank automatically fills, use this formula: Add1 cup of vinegar per 6 gallons of water contained in the tank. Then, add an additional 2 ounces of apple vinegar per horse per day.

*You can take care of all those pesky flies that hang around enclosed areas like barns or transportation trailers, by using you own homemade vinegar fly trap:
3 cups (750 ml) Water
1/4 cup (60 ml) Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup (60 grams) Sugar
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar solution then place in a large jar and punch holes in the lid. The flies will get in but won't be able to fly out.

As you can see, ACV is a must have at the stable! I keep a full jug handy at all times. Get organic and unpasteurized ACV if you can (pasteurization kills the important enzymes). It also does wonders for humans, but I have yet to try it. I found it at for $13.99 per gallon and shipping is only 99 cents. If anyone finds a better deal let me know. I can't find the unfiltered in the gallon size at an actual store.

If you live in a country where apple cider vinegar is difficult to find, try making it at home. Here's a couple recipes on the web to make apple cider vinegar.

Anyone have any experience with feeding ACV?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Malibu & Gamble House

We took my dad down to Malibu for lunch at Neptune's Net. It was sunnier than it looks in this picture. Malibu is one of my favorite places. 21 miles of Pacific coastline PLUS lots of horses, an equestrian park, stables, and horse trails through the Santa Monica Mountains.

On the way home we checked out The Gamble House in Pasadena. It was designed in 1908 by architects Greene & Greene. It was commissioned by David and Mary Gamble, of the Procter and Gamble Company, as a retirement residence. I love this Arts & Crafts style masterpiece.

Front entry
Back patio
View from back yardWe also went by Frank Lloyd Wright's Millard House, also known as La Miniatura. It is a few doors down from a friend's house in Pasadena and it is also for sale....$7,733,000! Not my taste, but internationally recognized as one of the world’s most important works of architecture.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Roasted Shrimp Salad

Had a lesson on Kylie in the morning, she was great (which was nice since my dad came to watch)!!! The weather was PERFECT, about 70, not a cloud in the sky, just a beautiful day.

Had a BBQ last night. Lots of fun with family and friends. We had the BEST shrimp salad that my mother-in-law brought and I'd love to share the recipe....

Roasted Shrimp Salad (Ina Garten)

  • 2 1/2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons small-diced red onion


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel and devein the shrimp. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss together. Spread the shrimp on one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until pink, firm and cooked through. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the shrimp are cool, add them to the sauce and toss. Add the dill, capers, and red onion and toss well. The flavors will improve if you allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Otherwise, chill and serve at room temperature.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Griffith Observatory

My dad is in town visiting from Vermont. I took him to Griffith Park Observatory today.
The view is amazing! It is on top of the Hollywood hills so you can see all of Los Angeles and get a great view of the Hollywood sign. The vast concrete jungle.

Group shot with Hollywood sign in the background.

We saw the "Centered in the Universe" show in the the new Samuel Oschin Planetarium. It was great!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A walk around my yard

Our heat wave left, and we are back to temperatures in the 60s. I always worry about the horses colicing when we have these drastic temperature fluctuations. I took some photos of some of the flowers that have been popping out lately in our yard.


Don't know what this is, but it grows in our little pond. I call it star grass.


No idea what this is either

a hairy fly

African Iris (aka Morea Iris or Fortnight Lily)

Trumpet Vine

Japanese Maple


Fountain Grass and Bottle Brush Tree


Etsy Day 2009!

Independent members of the Etsy community, both buyers and sellers, have joined together and declared Friday, April 24th, to be Etsy Day -- a day to tell everyone you know, and even those you don't about Etsy.

Let's celebrate it by joining Etsy!
Let's jump into the sea of handmade nation!
If you are creative and good at handmade, why not become a seller at Etsy?!
If you are searching for something cool and special, then you would like to shop at Etsy!
Remember when you sign up for Etsy on Friday make sure mentioning my Etsy username: fiveoclocksomewhere in the Referrer Username box at sign up!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I encourage everyone to do what they can on this Earth Day to make our "environments" better places to grow & thrive in!

See my Going Green post:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A hot night at the ranch

Not too much excitement tonight, but I took a few photos at the ranch. After work, we loaded up the dogs and headed out to the barn. The temperature gauge was in the nineties at 5:30 pm, ugh! It was too hot to do much riding, I knew Kylie wouldn't be interested in doing anything that required any effort. I got on her bareback for a few minutes.Here's a view of the lower ring. The mountains surround the facility. Its a great get away from the hustle and bustle of the city that isn't too far away.

Kylie was content on just standing around, the less activity the better.
There is a small vineyard at one end of the ranch....
"A horse is the projection of people’s dreams about themselves; strong, powerful, beautiful, and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence"-Pam Brown

Monday, April 20, 2009

Redondo to Hermosa Beach Bike Ride

I'm not quite used to the kind of unseasonable heat we had this weekend. It was in the nineties on Sunday! I got up early to ride my horse and beat the heat, since the temperature swing is about 40 degrees from early morning to the height of the day. I rode a few other horses after mine, but got pretty wiped out as it started to heat up.

It was a great day to go to the beach where the temperatures are always cooler. We loaded up our beach cruisers and headed down to visit some friends...
We parked in Redondo at our friend's house, and then peddled down The Strand a couple of miles to Hermosa Beach to meet up with some more friends. A typical day on this path will see tons of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, and rollerblade, Sunday was no different. Great for people watching.Sun, surf, sand, seaThere were lots of people playing volleyball, and there are always alot of surfers in the water.This cute little dog was happy as can be riding in the basket of a beach cruiser.
Hermosa Beach is well known for its happening nightlife, however the pedestrian-only Pier Avenue and its surrounding streets are buzzing all day. I'm not sure where the afternoon and evening went, but it was very late by the time we peddled back! Does not make for an easy Monday morning at work. My camera's battery died so only a few pictures.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Testing out camera lense - picture heavy

We are having a bit of a heat wave, it was 85 degrees today! I had a nice ride this morning on Kylie and rode 3 other horses. I was testing out my camera lens that I normally do not use. It is a macro lens, which is intended for close up shots. I usually just use it to shoot my jewelry, but I figured I'd see what kind of shots I could get today.

My friend Jennifer and her adorable horse Charles (I've nicknamed him Pinkie, because of his cute pink nose)

After riding we took the doggies for a swim. They had a blast!

Best friends
I have no idea where all this water was coming from that was feeding the lake. It is very dry around here, and rarely rains, so I'm thinking the reservoir must feed it? I actually found this somewhat hidden lake while out on a trail ride one day. It is like an oasis in the dessert. The dogs love swimming here. And there is rarely a sole in sight (a rarity in LA). You have to walk at least a mile from the nearest road to get there.

On our evening walk with the dogs last night I snapped some pictures of flowers....

Birds of ParadiseMurphy in the shadows...

These two little dogs had a fit when we walked by, you can't see them too well, but they were both wearing sweaters and barking like crazy!

Kora guarding her Jolly Apple toy, which is actually a horse toy.

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