Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Tucker, Hobbs and Goat
I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2012...and I haven't written since the death of Imp in October.
I don't think anyone even reads these, certainly nobody has called, texted or emailed me to ask why I haven't written anything, so sometimes I ask why bother? But why not? At least I read it!
For the handful of people who do follow my blog, here is a brief update:
In November, I was officially hired by Devon-Aire Riding Apparel! This has been a dream of mine, to work again in the equine retail industry, ever since I managed a tack store after high school! My official title is Southeast Account Executive....I never thought I would see the word Executive after my name...and I have 5 states in my territory: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina! I have inherited existing stores, including some really big stores in Atlanta and Florida! The folks at Devon-Aire, which is a family owned business in Tampa, are also putting me in contact with other companies to Represent. As these become finalized, I will announce who they are!
After going to Tampa earlier this month, in which they loaded the Mazda with lots of samples, I will next travel for a week in January to Virgina, to learn from their best salesman. I come home, and then fly out the following week to Philadelphia, for the American Equine Trade Association trade show. I can't wait, as I will have the chance to meet up with some of my potential contacts and will get to meet Hilary Self, of Hilton Herbs! We have corresponded a bit between Tucker's allergies and Imp's cushings. I was pleasantly surprised to see my testimonial is listed on their webpage, at the top of the Bye Bye Itch site:

Tucker has been doing great! While he didn't get too upset at Imp's passing, he does miss her companionship. He shares the fence line with a mare on one side and a naughty pony on the other, who likes to steal his fly masks. I look forward to the day we finally sell our home (it goes back on the market in a month) and buy a farm, and he has another friend to play with, rather than sharing a fence line.
Habronema re-opened
I ride him just about every day and the truth is, there just isn't a bad ride on him. He is so honest, so uncomplicated and so much fun. I look forward to my rides. Jen's boyfriend, Will, is even learning to ride on him!

On the downside, his habronema scar opened a few months ago and it has been hell getting it to close. My vet had me try a new course of treatment, using Quest instead of Ivermectin (3 tubes), about 27ccs of Panalog instead of Fura Ointment, and 3ccs of DMSO, all mixed together. It has actually started working. While it hasn't closed completely, the swelling is almost gone and there is no more bleeding. It has been very puzzling, as this opened after summer had turned into fall, and after 2 years of no issues. He now wears his flyboot everyday and I don't think I will ever take it off, even in the cooler weather.

It is strange being down to just one horse, and we miss Imp something terrible. Her obituary appeared in this weeks Chronicle of the Horse. They forgot to put that she was the 1997 AHSA Intermediate Horse of the Year, but overall, they did a nice job.

After treatment of Panalog, Quest and DMSO
I wish you a Happy New Year with lots of good riding days!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Farewell, Impulsive

Several hearts are breaking today. Mine. Jennifer's. Jane's.
Impulsive has crossed the rainbow bridge.
Imp was a life time horse. A heart horse. A best friend.
It was my priviledge to be her caretaker.

Jen and Imp At Poplar
She was an amazing partner not only for Jen, but to Jane, who took her to the upper levels of eventing. We are forever grateful for Jane's generosity in giving us Imp.

Farewell, Imp. You loved Jen and you took good care of her. You taught her to be the horsewoman she is. You gave me much anxiety as I worried and fretted over you like a good horseshow mom and barn manager should. We miss you.

Her story and how we came to own this beautiful horse is here:

Imp and Jane, AHSA Intermediate Horse of the Year Zone Champion

Jen and Imp sharing peppermints
Jane and Imp
Jane and Imp
Jen and Rachel learning that they are going to Champs in 2004
Jen and Imp at Poplar
Jen and Imp at Rocking Horse
Jen's senior portrait
Kentucky Horse Park
Kentucky Horse Park
Jen and Imp at Kentucky Horse Park
Imp flirting with John Henry at the KHP
Life imitating art, as Imp imitates Secretariat at KHP
Jane and Imp

Monday, September 24, 2012

Taking Holiday Orders!

Now is the time to start getting your orders in for
custom equine related gifts!
Orders can be placed by contacting me (Lori) at or 407-435-2407
Please allow 3-4 weeks for custom orders.
Please add $7 for shipping and handling.

Stall Name Plates:

Customized with your horses name and photo on slate. Size of slate varies, typical size is 8x6. Names came be painted or "blinged" with crystals.
Painted; $30
Blinged: $35

Fly Bonnets:

Prices start at $45
Swarkovski crystals are utilized.
Please contact for more info and pricing:
Custom Brushes:
Never misplace your brush in the barn again! Never worry about somebody else "claiming" your brush! Great stocking stuffers! Perfect for barn parties, the pony clubber or your special student!

Custom brush with your photo and name in "bling." Specify hard or soft. $25

Custom brush with stock image and your horses name in "bling." Specify color of horse and whether soft or hard brush. $20
Coasters and Trivets
All images, which can be viewed at:
are available for purchase, either as a matted or framed print, or as a coaster or tile.
A selection of the prints on tiles appear below. Coasters and trivets make wonderful hostess gifts.
Coasters and trivets can also be custom made, utilizing your own photo. Contact me for more details.
Coasters: $9 each or 2 for $15
Trivets: $14 each
5x7 prints, matted: $15; framed: $30
8x10 prints, matted: $20; framed: $40
cards: $3 each or 2 for $5

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Tucker's face looking fabulous! Note all the flood water in backgound.
Since I moved Imp and Tucker back to Nikki's, all it has done is rain. And rain. And rain some more. Not our normal afternoon showers. No. Torrential rain. Like 5 inches in 2 hours rain.
Every day.
I am ready to build an ark.
Of course, the pastures are all flooded.
Nikki is over it. The horses are over it. I am over it. I am sure the deer are over it.
The only ones really enjoying all this rain are the wading birds!
There has been one bright moment to come from all of this rain.
Because the pastures are so flooded, not to mention we are getting middle of the night storms, the horses are on limited turnout. An hour here and there in the morning, and an hour or 2 when Nikki comes home from work. Some days, they just get hand walked.
As a result, Tucker's skin looks...dare I say it...drumroll, please.....AWESOME!!!
Yes, awesome!
After months of fighting summer sores, crusty tummies, itchy and hairless tails and raw manes, his skin is finally getting a reprieve and healing.
Unlike the itty, bitty barn, his stall at Nikki's is large and cool. Having 4 fans blowing on him helps too! Limited turnout really helps.
Neck almost healed
I noticed about 2 weeks ago that he seemed to be doing better...a little bit each day.
Then, last week, I started him on SmartPaks SmartProtect. It is for the immune system and contains such ingredients as grape seed extract and Vitamin's C and E.
Tail regrowing...again!
In the last week, since being on it, his tail has re-grown by over 50% and his skin has dramatically cleared up. He seems less itchy, too.
He had been on the product for only a few days when I was showing Tucker to my friend, Chris. That was when I started to realize the sudden improvements.
I was giddy!
So lessons learned?
First, no more night turnout during the summer.
Once we move to our own farm, this will be easy. Limited turnout in the early AM and again before sunset.
And just as I have always speculated, his allergies have been immune related. I have tried other products in the past, with no success. The formula that SmartProtect uses seems to be the right combination for Tucker and it is working.
I am going to start Imp on the SmartProtect as well.
She has been started on Hilton Herb's Vitex Plus, for Cushing's horses. She simply refuses to eat the Pergolide, no matter how I disguise it. She likes the Vitex Plus and in just a week, she is beginning to shed out...finally. I hope she continues to show improvement on it.

Now all together, lets sing: Rain, Rain, Go Away! Go Out West! We Are Over You!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Painting Barns, Rain and Family

Gosh, I can't believe it has been more than a month since I last blogged.
It seems like so much has happened, that I don't know where to begin!
To start, I moved the horses back to Nikki's. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a blow up between the owner of the little itty barn and myself. It started with a broken water pipe, which I do not dispute was most likely caused by Tucker stepping on. It would have been easy enough to fix, but she didn't know where the shut off valve was and had to call a plumber.
This escalated into an 11:00 PM phone call (first a voice message, which I have saved, and then I returned her call), where she berated me for turning my horses out, saying how cruel it was (mine are currently on night turnout during the summer months and in their stalls with fans on them during the day). She thought it would be more humane to just "lunge and ride them and then put them in their stall."
Explain how I am going to lunge and ride Imp,  my retired 22 year old, who's legs swell after standing around during the day and NEEDS to be out and about, walking.
Exlain how I am going to have a sane and calm Tucker, if he gets no turn out?
She then blamed the erosion around the barn on my horses, and said that I should be maintaining the barn to the level of painting it!
Yes, painting the barn.
Don't let other barns get whiff of this. I can see the ads now:
Stalls for rent. X amount per month. PLUS, you get to paint the barn. And weed. And paint the fences. And then you can paint the house!
Potential boarders should be lining up in droves, don't you think?
I paid to lease the barn for a set amount each month. I picked up the poop around the pastures at least 5 times a week. If something broke, I fixed it. I weeded around the barn and even planted Four O'Clocks around the barn! I kept the barn neat and orderly.
Sorry, painting the barn is not something I should have to do.
I even put an ad on Craigslist for the ever growing mound of manure, which she chose to ignore. I arranged to have some gardners come haul a bit of it away.
Meanwhile, she took my board money and invested none of it back into the barn. Even when she had someone out on 3 different occasions to do yet more work on her pond, she didn't bother having them move some of the poop off the hill.
But I needed to paint the barn.

She mentioned the crazy lady next door. The crazy lady gets to lease that barn in exchange for fixing it up. She doesn't pay board. Lately, that barn is looking somewhat decent, with new paint. Now, my barn owner claims that crazy lady pays board AND paints the therefore, I should be painting the barn, right? See where this idea came from?
Needless to say, I left.
I mucked out the stalls, swept and cleaned, and left the barn in clean order.
Except, I didn't paint the barn.
She did lock the gate to the side field where I kept my jumps. She wouldn't answer the door when I knocked.
So I jumped the fence, and took the little stuff.
She can keep the rotting PVC standards and the rusty barrels.
I am now a rep for US Show Jumping!
How cool are these? High Density Polyethylene plastic. They are light weight but have galvinized steel bases so they don't blow over. They are UV resistant, so unlike PVC jumps, they don't disintegrate or fade. The poles are wood encased in the plastic, so they have the weight of traditional wood poles, without the maintenance. No more painting parties! Hooray!
So the horses are at Nikki's for the time.
And of course, the torrential rains begain after I moved there.
Of course.
Tucker's legs are swollen from the standing water.
But the barn is so much cooler and he has multiple fans on him. Initially, his skin allergies took a major nose dive but I think we have things under control. The rain has actually been a blessing to the allergies, because he goes out only for a few hours in the AM and before sunset, then the horses are back in the barn.
Imp, meanwhile, was tested for Cushings and the results came back positive.
Of course, she won't eat the Pergolide, so I put her on Hilton Herbs Vitex Plus and she eats it. It is for Cushing's, so hopefully, we will see some results soon.
Well, that pretty much brings me up to date...oh, yes, proud mother moment daughter Jen graduated last week from the University of South Florida, with a degree in Civil Engineering. It was a proud moment! Two down and one more left....just 2 years of college tuition left!
Happy Riding!

Monday, July 2, 2012

It Is Freaking Hot!

Almost 100 at 6:58pm
I is supposed to be hot in Florida. Which is why I hate Florida! I hate the heat. But the past few days have posted record heat records. When I went to feed last evening, it was still in the 90's at 7:30.
I fed the two and somehow managed to pick up the pasture while they ate, something I had told myself I would do that evening, as I hadn't gotten to it in a few days.
After filling the water troughs with cool, fresh water, the horses were turned out.

Imp promptly returned to her stall.
I had to convince her that she was going out for the night.

Horse management in this heat is tough.

You not only have the heat, but you have the flies and mosquitoes to deal with.
Tucker's allergies are making him miserable, and the heat doesn't help. He can't wear a fly mask as it rubs his sore on his cheek..I have tried 3 different masks and have tried to modify them, none work. Besides, I think they actually make his allergies worse..they are hot and they trap the heat. But, without the mask, his eyes run and on some days, he rubs his nose open.
So I compromise. If his eyes are bad or the nose is bleeding, he wears the mask...until he removes it.
Imp loves wearing fly boots...don't ask me why I never put them on her before. But she sweats in a fly mask. Nikki came to pick up some SMZ's and to visit yesterday and when I removed her mask to show her Imp's still swollen above the eyes area, she was all sweaty under the fly mask. So I left it off.
This morning, I rode Tucker..barely.
We walked, did some trotting, long enough to get him into a frame. Did some cantering. And then quit. We didn't even make it 30 minutes. But it was enough just to keep him in shape.

Why do I seem to have the worst hot flashes when I am riding and it is already so friggin' hot? It is all I can do to keep myself from jumping in the pond.

I rinsed Tucker off extra long today, and then pulled Imp out of her stall to rinse her off. After breakfast, she refuses to leave her stall, even though I leave her door open. She even let me dribble water from my cupped hands down her know she is hot when she lets me do that.

Horses are out for the evening, with cool, fresh water
Fans are on, fresh, clean and cool water fills their buckets, lights are off and they are in their stalls for the day. I think that while this heat continues, I will head out at noon to rinse them has to make them feel a little better!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smart Horse Keeping Consultation

Mission Statement:

It is my belief that all horses deserve to be treated equally. They deserve the best possible care that their owner/barn manager can give them: a full belly of good quality hay and feed, shelter and fresh water. They should have access to farrier and veterinary care. And they should be treated kindly by their owner and handlers. For a human to do all this, they need to be educated. Having co-founded and operated a non-profit horse rescue, I realize that too many horses end up in bad situations because of uneducated horse owners. All too often, horses end up being neglected, starved, abused or in the slaughter house, because their human didn’t know any better. They buy the wrong horse or they don’t know how to care for it properly, and in frustration, they “dump” the horse, sometimes to a situation even worse. Or sometimes, because of a lack of education, the horse becomes ill and sometimes they die. My belief is that an educated owner makes for a healthy and happy horse!

Who I Am:

I was born into a family that owned horses, so I grew up being exposed to horses my whole life. My grandfather owned horses and boarded broodmares on his farm outside of Pittsburgh, and I learned a lot from him and his clients. I could never afford to board my horse at full service stables, so I learned to care for my horse myself. I learned from experienced horsemen, attended lectures and clinics, took classes and mainly, I observed. I have been involved with the United States Pony Club, as a parent, a District Commissioner and as a regional volunteer.

As the co-founder of a horse rescue, I expanded my knowledge even more, learning to rehabilitate and care for abused, starved and neglected horses.

As a competitor, I learned from many professionals to properly care for the athletic horse. Being an eventer, it is even more vital to get the most of my horse, by means of proper nutrition, conditioning and dedicated horse and stable management.

My philosophy has always been that the well-being of the horse comes first, and that it is possible to do so, on a budget, without sacrificing the quality of care.

What I Can Do For The Horse and/or Stable Owner:

By incorporating my philosophy and mission statement, I will come to your farm and evaluate your practices (see list below). I will then write up a stable management plan, which will help you identify areas that need improving. I am able to consult with a feed nutritionist and a Professional Engineer (fire safety), as well as other professionals as needed. After I have devised a stable management plan for you, I will present my findings to you, with solutions. My stable management plan can be tailored for the small back yard horse owner or for large boarding, breeding and training facilities.

Services Available:

Stable Management Consultation:

I will inspect your farm for the following:

·         Horse management practices

·         Poisonous plants

·         Quality of feed and hay

·         Storage facilities for hay and feed

·         Bedding

·         Manure disposal

·         Pasture management, including fencing inspection and weed control

·         Fire safety

·         Farrier/Veterinary protocols

·         Parasite and rodent control

After I inspect your farm, I will write you a Horse Management Plan, which will detail areas that you can improve on. For example, many horse owners do not know how to identify poisonous plants on their property or how to properly bed a stall. Some horse owners don’t know the correct feed to buy or will feed moldy hay. I will identify areas that need to be improved upon and give tips on how to do so.

This is ideal for the new horse and/or farm owner who needs to learn how to properly care for their horse. Additionally, the boarding barn owner/manager, will benefit from this consultation, to learn how to get the most out of their dollar, without sacrificing quality care.

Fee: $125 for 1-6 horses/stalls   $150 for 7-12 horses/stalls   $200 for over 12 horses/stalls


Emergency Planning Consultation:

Custom emergency plan for hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wild fires. Based upon where your farm is located, I will develop a plan for dealing with emergencies. This includes evacuation plans and safety tips.

This is ideal for all horse owners and boarding/training/showing facilities.

Fee: $50 with Horse Management Consult; $100 without Horse Management Consult

Quarantine Guidelines:

I will help you develop and implement a quarantine plan for one horse or multiple horses. Whether introducing a new horse into your herd, hosting events or dealing with sick horses, all barns should have a quarantine plan in effect.

Fee: $50 with Horse Management Consult; $100 without Horse Management Consult

Nutrition Consultation:

Whether your horse is a pleasure mount, retiree or competitive show horse, I can help you come up with a sound feeding plan that will help you get the most of your money, while giving your horse the best nutrition. If you own or board multiple horses, I will show you how to provide for each horse’s individual nutrition requirements.

Fee: $50 with Horse Management Consult; $100 without Horse Management Consult

Two or more specialty consults, in addition to the Horse Management Consult: $40 each

Sales Consultation:

Designed for the new horse owner, I will assist you in locating that perfect first horse. Unfortunately, the equine industry is full of unscrupulous people, who will take advantage of first time horse buyers. It is not uncommon for horses to be drugged to mask their true tendencies, making them appear safe and calm when in reality they are not. Lame horses may be drugged to make them appear sound. It is not uncommon for a first time horse owner to purchase a horse based upon his looks or breed or even color, instead of his temperament! I will help you make the right choice.

Fee: 15% of purchase fee or $150 if no horse purchased

These fees are for the Orlando area, extending north to Ocala and south to Tampa, as well as both directions east and west to the coast. For areas beyond this, the fees will be slightly higher, to take into account gas and travel time.

I am available to speak about Smart Horse Keeping to your club or group!

Contact Lori at 407-435-2407

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Calypso Farm's New Venture

Some of  you may know that a month ago, I was laid off from my job as a Certified Chiropractic Assistant. It was a low blow, as I had no idea it was coming.
Since then, I have applied to over 100 openings, and the only ones I hear back from are scams. How do I know that they are scams? Well, by now, I am pretty much adept at identifying them. If they are on Craig's List, they are more readily obvious, but they appear on more legit sights like Indeed and Monster. First off, the salary is a good giveaway..if it appears too good to be true, it is. But the clever scammers go into great detail about the opening, keeping the salary more in range. You don't know it is a scam until you receive an email that either 1) wants you to go to their website for further information, 2) needs your credit information or 3) starts off by saying that they are away in another country on a business trip, however, after reviewing your application, they are pretty confident that you are the right match for their company and they want you to begin employment right away.
Deep sigh here. It is pretty depressing.
So until I start playing the lottery and win big, or an unknown relative dies and leaves me their fortune, I need to get pretty creative to support Tucker and Imp.
First, I have become a Sales Rep for MDs Choice. They are the makers of the joint supplement that I have used for years. Go to their testimonial page and we are their first one.
It is strictly commission, they haven't been around in Florida for a few years, so this means I have to continue getting creative.
I have decided to start heading to the horse shows as a vendor. Not only as a rep for Gluquestrian and their human and canine joint supplements, but also, to tap into my creativeness. While in Atlanta, visiting my son and his girlfriend over Memorial Day weekend, I happened upon a cute boutique that sold tile coasters that had images of Atlanta on them. Hmmm..I can do these, was my first impression. And so I have, incorporating my own photos of horses, wildlife, the Georgia mountains and eventually, scenes around Winter Park and Orlando.

Sample of wildlife and Ga. mountains

Sample of horses

Not photos, but from notecards. And a large trivet

Next, I am applying the same technique to make custom stall name plates and brushes....geesh, why didn't I think of this years ago?
Sample stall name plate, Made of slate
No more losing your brush at the barn! Can be customized with name and color

And, my final offering at horseshows will be my fudge. Chocolate. Fudge. Incredibly fantastic fudge, if I do say so myself!
I have been making fudge at Christmas for years. People love it, they ask for it (my farrier threatened to kidnap my horses until I made him more) and they tell me I should sell it. This is my grandmother's recipe. It is pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.
I had a trial run last weekend at our Equine Education Day. I made fudge and coasters for our guest speakers. The feedback has been pretty encouraging. I actually have orders for both!
There is also one more area that I am exploring. I have another blog,
I write about how to best care for your horse without sacrificing quality. I have had several inquiries about consulting at farms. My inquiries have come from new farm/horse owners who need help in setting up their facility, learning how to feed and care for their horses and more. So, I am in the process of writing up a plan. I want to consult on barn safety, pasture management, nutrition, emergency planning, quarantine guidelines and aiding in the purchase of the first time horse. It is pretty exciting for me, I should have thought about it a long time ago. Is there a market for such a consultant? I will find out and report back! I think there should be, judging by some of the farms I drive by and people I meet. We'll see!
So starting next month, I will start heading out to shows to market my wares. I won't get rich, but I will be my own boss and hopefully, support those four legged money eating machines.