Virginia Horse Festival

Hello Everyone! I wanted to let you know that I will be a presenter and have a Horse Hippie pop-up shop at the Virginia Horse Festival March 27-29th.

VA Horse Festival


I will be presenting on nutrition (as The Equine Nutrition Nerd) and will give my How A Trip To Home Depot Can Help You Understand Equine Digestion demo.  Here is a video clip of the demo but I give it using volunteers and the real items from the store!  Such fun!

Our Horse Hippie pop-up shop booth will have TONS of cool stuff for your shopping pleasure to help you live a Horsey, Healthy and Happy life :-)  From headbands, to scarves, to tops and bags!  We even have hand crafted horsey jewelry and super comfy hippie harem pants!

Horse Hippie headbandsHorse Hippie scarvesHorse Hippie TankHorseHippie2014 Live2RideHorse Hippie Harem Pants 2015So come out to say “Hay!” and visit our Shop….you’ll be glad you did. If you can’t come but want to see more about Horse Hippie, click on over to our website.

Hope to see you there,


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Solar Powering Your Horse Farm

solar power on horse farm

I started my green energy switch by accident years ago with a solar fence charger. At the time, being eco-friendly wasn’t my goal, I wanted to divide a pasture for rotation and I just didn’t have a power source to that field. I was shocked that the fence charger was 3 times the price of a plug-in charger but I quickly found out the benefits far out-weighed the costs. That’s kind of how solar is. Continue reading

Alternative Remedies For “Scratches” in Horses

Went to ride a client’s horse the other day and noticed his rear pasterns were puffy.  On closer look I discovered he had scabs on his pasterns; raw, oozing, scabs that really hurt.  He was super sensitive to the touch and very defensive when I started to clean the area away.  Ugh, the dreaded muddy paddock scratches!!

Horse “scratches” is a bacterial horse skin infection that most commonly affects the area at the back of the pastern and heel.

6a00d834529d8769e2017ee7758541970d-320wiBut it can be found pretty much anywhere a horse’s lower foot contacts the wet conditions.

HHHP-Scratches Continue reading


Hello everyone! Has anything changed in your horse’s life?  Did you move him to a new home? Has the weather changed?  Or did you get a new horse recently?  All of these are great reasons to learn and perform a Horse Health Check.  There are 6 things we focus on to assess horse health when we are establishing a baseline for each horse or trying to determine if something might be “off”.

Body Condition, Gum Refill, Dehydration, Respiration, Heart Rate and Temperature (front to back assessment).   Other indicators including gut sounds, attitude and gait soundness are super important too.

Usually if something is out of normal range in these areas, you should call your vet.  Each horse is a unique animal so determining normal range should be done when they are healthy and at rest.

Here is a terrific chart from Equine Guelph that gives you the “signals” in an easy to follow color coded chart.

EcoEquine-HorseHealth CheckIn addition I created a few videos to help you learn how to perform each of these.  For those I didn’t do I searched and found the best instructional video (in my opinion) :-)

BODY CONDITION SCORING- great place to start.  Average healthy horse score = 5-6. Determine your horse’s overall score and do this once per month to catch weight loss or gain, which could indicate a problem.  For more about this topic click here


GUM REFILL- Average refill rate = 1-2 seconds.  It’s important to check this vital sign when you suspect something might be wrong. Any delay of return of color could indicate poor blood perfusion which can result from dehydration, shock or other illness.

SKIN PINCH TEST/DEHYDRATION- Average rebound rate is 2-3 seconds.  When the skin doesn’t return to it’s normal position after pinching…you might have problems.

RESPIRATION- Average resting rate = 8-15 breaths/minute.  Before you consider your horse’s rate “abnormal” take into consideration things that can affect the rate; temperature, exercise, and stress.  Try to note the characteristics of the breathing as well; is it labored? Does your horse groan when he breaths?

HEART RATE/PULSE- Average resting rate = 40 beats/minute.   Try to keep in mind that horses are all different so “normal” for a fit horse will not be the same as for one that isn’t.  Any rate over 40 is cause for concern however and 50-60 are considered serious.  Over 80 is critical.


TEMPERATURE- Average resting temp = 100 degrees F.  Consider weather when measuring temp as winter/cold outside temps can result in lower (97 degrees) rectal temp.

This video is from my friend Cindy at Deer Creek Equine

Hope this helps you determine your baselines as well as any abnormalities in your horse’s health!

~Til we meet again….