Friday, July 5, 2013

"Feature Friday- book review - Down-To-Earth NATURAL HORSE CARE by Lisa Ross-Williams"

Howdy Folks,
Lisa Ross-Williams will tell you she was born "horse crazy."As a young girl, her first horses were beautiful Breyer Horses who galloped happily around her bedroom amid walls papered with posters and pictures of horses of every size, breed and color. She was 10 when her first real life horse entered her life; Liza was a 10 year old Arabian mare. For 6 years they shared a wonderful life together and Liza taught Lisa much about the spirit of the horse. Later in life another Arabian came to her, his name was Rebel. He came with a few issues that sent Lisa on a search to find better answers than the seemingly conventional ways of feeding, caring for, and housing. Nothing she was seeing seemed "Natural" to the horse for Lisa. Rebel's needs and benefits charted Lisa's path on a lifelong pursuit of seeking the truly "Natural" way.

Along the way many other horses continued to be Lisa's teachers. As she and her husband continued to learn they realized they needed to share that information. To that end they formed their company "If Your Horse Could Talk"  in 1998, and began a highly respected radio show.
Lisa on the air
As more and more important information about the "Natural" needs of horses began to come together Lisa eagerly shared what she learned, and still needed to do more. It made sense to her, and many friends had encouraged her, to put what she learned in a book. So she set out to assemble over 10 years of research, contacts and information in one book. In 2011 she published, Down-To-Earth NATURAL HORSE CARE, an easy to understand and fun to read book.
The title is perfect and describes exactly what you'll find between the covers – "Down to earth, Natural horse care."  Within those covers lies a wealth of realistic and helpful, easy to understand information on caring for your horse, or horses, naturally.

Everything from housing, to hoof care, feeding and nutrition, and more, is expertly detailed. And yet in such a way that it is easy to understand. Everything you need to know to change, implement or improve upon your current horse care practices is right there. Plus Lisa explains why the natural way is so very beneficial to all horses. And she points out in most cases you'll save time and money.

The book walks you through a journey of understanding starting with "A Natural Way of Living" giving easy, affordable and fun ways to create a natural paradise for your horse. "Equine Health" delivers tips on everything from dentistry, to truly natural feeding, things to do, and avoid. "Natural Hoof Care" explains how it's much more than, "just a trim."  "Natural Horsemanship," is a piece of the "Whole Horse Puzzle." In the segment "Myths and Facts" Lisa clears up many misconceptions.

There is a wonderful "Resource Guide" included that will be at your fingertips to help you find many more answers and helpful contacts.

This book puts it all together, how we might care for our horses in way that makes sense, "Naturally." It is a valuable resource for novice and seasoned horse owners alike, and I highly recommend it to everyone. 
Lisa & Kenny's equine family- from left- Rebel, Simon, Bam Bam, Riley, Smokie, Elvis, Trooper & Cooper
Thank you Rebel, for helping Lisa begin her journey.

I often use my own little quote, "It's for the horse." And while Lisa wrote this book for humans, the guidelines and information in it are truly, "For the horse."

You can purchase Lisa's book here - 

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Independence Day" - the second in my Grandpop series.

Howdy Folks,

This is the second in my Grandpop series - You can read the first - "Perhaps I've Just Lived Too Long (HERE) - Many Coffee Clutchers really enjoy visiting with Grandpop. I hope you will too.

"Independence Day"

The grandchildren sat transfixed by the old man. In a semi circle under the massive oak they watched and listened as his tired voice told grand stories of his youthful days, before he'd gone to the big war, when he was a cowboy on the vast ranges that still surround them here in the Texas panhandle. His three old mares had joined us too. They stood behind him almost asleep. I chuckled when I thought they'd heard all these stories before. So had I.
The Coffee Clutch family
It was pleasant under the big tree, even though the thermometer on the side of the weathered barn told me it was just under 100 when we'd strolled by it on the way to Grandpop's story tree.

Grandpop was deep into the story about the time he and his best friend, Tex, who didn't make it back from the war, were asked to escort a special lady from the train station to the ranch and got caught in a thunderstorm that had them holed up under the wagon for 2 hours. "Boy howdy," I heard him say, "She was sure enough as mad as a hornet. Why you'd have thought Tex and me had conjured up that big blow just to ruin her travelin' dress." He paused and looked around the circle of young faces. "I think it was the first time I ever heard a lady cuss." He chuckled. "And she was good at it too."

I looked back at the gathering of folks between the house and barn, too far to hear any of their voices. Smoke was drifting up from the campfires where steaks were grilling, and a few games of horseshoes were going on. Looked like guys against gals. I could see cousin Fred boring everybody he could lasso, bragging over his new Cadillac.

I remembered when I sat under the tree listening to Grandpop's stories. He never told any stories about his time in the war, at most he'd mention it took him away and he married Grandma the week he got home. He'd use that as a lead into how they set out together to build this little ranch, and raise a family here, 3 boys and 2 girls. "Why when we bought this little chunk of land there wasn't even a single building on it." I heard him say.

I'd be turning 60 in a few months and I thought about how much this tiny ranch and that old man meant to me. His horses, his stories, his advice. I cupped my face so no one could see the tears swelling in my eyes. I thought about all the years I was too busy to come home for his big Independence Day shindigs. A pang in my gut told me I'd not get those visits back. Those were lost chances. My wet eyes surveyed the smiling faces watching him talk and an uneasy feeling swept over me as I wondered who would be the family's anchor when he was no more. We all came to him when we were troubled. And when we had the biggest news to share.

Independence Day wasn't the only big shindig here at Grandpop's ranch, but I always thought it was his favorite. At some point one of the children would always ask why he liked 4th of July so much. Of course as I grew older I sensed that he steered the conversation in that direction so he could tell them. "This is the only country in the entire history of the world to be founded on the principle that everyone is equal and that the independence of everybody was what matters the most so everyone can be whatever they want to be." It's that freedom that makes our country so wonderful he would explain. Of course some of the youngest wouldn't totally understand until they heard the stories a few times. It takes a while to understand what's truly important, I suppose.

I thought again of the years I'd missed Gandpop's shindigs. It does take a while to understand what's important, and I understand now sometimes we need to lose it a little before we truly understand.

Somebody at the barn jerked the rope on the dinner bell and yelled, "Come and get it!" Bouncing to their feet the children yelled in unison, "Come on Grandpop!" I took his hand, helped him to his feet, and for the first time ever I noticed how frail he'd become. How tired his eyes. A shiver ran through me. A small panic. Who will tell the stories under the big oak when he's gone? Will anyone remember?

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

You can read the next (3rd) Grandpop story, "Grandpop's Horse" (HERE)

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Have An Enterprising Day"

Howdy Folks,

It's great to be back home, although a visit with our daughter and grandchildren can never really be long enough. Don't you find that true too? … We had a spectacular time, gosh do 7 and 5 year olds have a lot of energy!! A cook out Saturday night, sausage, peppers and onions on the grill, neighbors … and more children. Did you know those things they call "Super Soakers" hold about 20 gallons of water, and in the hands of 5, 6, 7, & 8 year olds can be very accurate?! Oh gosh, not a dry eye, or shirt was to be found on the patio ... Our grandbabies and I did manage to dry off for a few games of battleship.
Hannah, Ben and Grandpop playing Battleship
After the splashy cook out we retired to the house for a Star Trek "Enterprise" night. I'm Trekky, or Trekker, don't care what you call me as long as you call me in time for the show! A good friend of Abbie's is a big fan too and he brought all of season 2 (Enterprise) for a Star Trek party. The guests broke into 2 groups, those who care about Captain Archer, Trip, T'Pol and the rest, and those who are uninformed. The Enterprise series was cancelled way too soon, I personally think Scot Bakula made a terrific Captain, and as a prequel it had some mighty fine story lines, fine acting … and this series is tied in first place for my favorite of all the series with the "Next Generation" series …
To me, at the core of the Star Trek franchise, or universe, is how important it is to help each other, explore new ideas and set good examples. I like that.
Gene Roddenberry and the cast of Star Trek the original series at the space shuttle Enterprise
I borrowed the entire set of all 4 seasons of Star Trek Enterprise, so I might be a bit distracted this week, as I "Warp" through space and time. I told Kessy all about the episode I watched when Captain Archer's beagle Porthos got sick, and I think she was quite concerned. I know Saturday was listening.

Have an Enterprising Day!

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry