Friday, December 20, 2013

Feature Friday – The Naturally Healthy Horse – Casie Bazay

Howdy Folks,
Casie Bazay started her love affair with horses as a very young girl, growing up with horses and barrel racing by her fifteenth birthday. She was also born with a love of writing. Little did she know those two loves would combine and set a path for her to follow; helping horses everywhere using the written word.
Life and horses seemed to guide her to creating a successful blog and website, "The Naturally Healthy Horse," where she shares her and others' knowledge of helping horses live healthy and naturally.

Her journey up that path began as a young girl, but received a big push by her barrel horse, Hershey. While Casie was taking time off after the birth of her son in 2007, Hershey became mysteriously lame. So severe was his condition that returning to the barrel course arena was out of the question.

Hershey was only 14 at the time, and no amount of Veterinarian visits, consultations, or money could define the cause, much less cure it. Desperate, and driven to find help for her long time partner, Casie began to explore alternative treatments with Hershey, including chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture. She purchased books on these modalities to learn more about them herself. Particularly fascinated by one book on equine acupressure (which is based on the same TCM principles as acupuncture, only without needles), she decided to attend courses offered by the authors of the book (Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute) and become certified in equine acupressure. A grant from her Indian tribe, The Chickasaw Nation made it possible for Casie to attend the courses.

"Attending Tallgrass was the beginning of my journey into learning about holistic horse health.  As part of my course requirements, I also took two of Dr. Kellon’s equine nutrition courses, and this sparked an intense interest in nutrition (my horses and also my own.)  I also met a barefoot trimmer while attending Tallgrass (Lu Garnas from Montana), and the things she told me about led me to study natural trimming.  This became another fascination of mine and I eventually learned to trim my own horses." Casie explained.

 She used her newfound knowledge and skills to help Hershey and her other horses. She put them on a forage-based diet balanced in minerals, started giving them regular acupressure sessions, and began trimming their hooves every four weeks.
Despite all her efforts, Hershey’s condition remained the same.  She came to a real turning point when she gave up trying to ‘fix’ Hershey in order to ride or barrel race him again, and instead decided to let him enjoy his well-earned retirement and take the best care of him she possibly could.  She began to see Hershey as her teacher.  "After all, he had inspired me to learn so much and led me to take a path that I never dreamed I’d follow." Casie said. "I learned that my love of horses exceeded my love of barrel racing and competing, and I was okay with just taking care of my horses and enjoying them whether I was riding or not."

Soon she began freelance writing for equine publications to share a little of what she’d learned, and continues to learn with others. Her articles in "The Horse," and other magazines were so well received she started her blog about a year ago. The Naturally Healthy Horse, has proven to be a valuable resource for horse owners all over the world about equine nutrition, barefoot hoof care, and acupressure.

"I also write about specific equine conditions such as insulin resistance, Cushing’s, heaves, etc. so people can be more aware of these common conditions.  I never intended to portray myself as the ‘expert’ on the blog, but my goal was to inspire people to get educated about horse health and natural care.  I do plenty of research for each of my posts." Casie explained.
Casie and Hershey
"My four horses, Hershey, Bob, Lee Lee, and Kady often guide my posts. Whatever is going on with them often becomes the topic of my next blog post. I must say that even though the blog is a lot of work, I love doing it!  If it can help even one horse, I would say that it has been worth it."

People and Horses Helping Horses and People is what our Coffee Clutch Feature Friday is all about, and Casie and her horses and blog are doing just that ... Kessy and I hope you'll join, The Naturally Healthy Horse (CLICK HERE). And feel free to send in your questions.
You can join them on Facebook HERE

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Rusty Bucket"

Howdy Folks,
Our friend Jodi Lea Stewart wondered if I could, "bring a rusty bucket to life." So accepting her challenge I wrote the first part and posted it on Facebook Friday. Then the story kept talking to me and I had to finish it –So I wrote the second part this morning – Here they are together – Let me know if you think I gave life to "a rust bucket" – And please enjoy!

The Old Rusty Bucket 

The peg, the rusty bucket hung on, was weather-beaten and worn as the rotting pine siding the old man had driven it into decades ago. Not much remained of the old man's shack. Most of the back half had long ago collapsed and fallen away. The small, leaning porch still sheltered the battered bucket, and occasionally a raccoon, fox or bird would visit. But never the old man. Time had taken him away.

True to its calling, the ancient bucket, now dented and brown with scarcely a hint of the once shiny galvanized metal, hung patiently on the crooked peg, waiting quietly to do its duty, should the old man return. For many a year the proud bucket had held spring water. Its friend the dipper hung on the bucket's side. The dipper fell away and down through the broken boards, out of sight, many seasons ago.

The porch had been a gathering place for neighbors, and for hours on end the old man would entertain with stories of his youth. Some true, some fantastic. The porch, the chairs, the old man's stories and the cool water in the bucket had folks dropping in almost every day. But that was a long time ago. The chairs, like the dipper are long gone. Like the old man.

Still the rusty bucket waits, perched on its friend the peg. No one has passed by since the oak, now towering above the porch, was just a seedling. For several seasons now a family of 

Chickadees had found the bucket the perfect place to raise their brood. Their old nests still line the rusty bottom of the bucket. Perhaps they'll return in the spring.

This was the end of the first part I wrote last week when I accepted Jodi's challenge – Then I had to write the second part this morning – Please enjoy the rest of "Rusty Bucket"


The trail leading up the mountain was barely visible. It was obvious to the young woman and her horse the only thing keeping the trail alive at all was the deer and other wildlife who found its route the easiest to navigate. From the open fields at the mountain's feet to the beautiful high shelf among ancient, towering oaks and pines the trail meandered this way and that, avoiding steep areas, rock outcroppings, and dense thickets.

 She'd heard of the trail, and the cabin in stories since her youth. Stories about her great-granddaddy and his family told to her by her granddaddy. Funny, she thought, how she seemed to be the only one who cared about those old stories, or this old abandon, overgrown farm. Or the old man, an almost forgotten horseman from a different era. All the times she listened to her granddaddy she never imagined she'd ride the trail to the top … in search of that old relic of a homestead.

As they climbed higher and higher she imagined he was riding with her. Riding his mare, Bluebell. Many of the old stories focused on that wonderful horse. They say she's buried behind the old cabin next to a towering rock. Her granddaddy had chiseled her name in the rock. She patted her mare's neck, "We'll see if we can't find that big rock today, Bluebell."

Riding alone, climbing the mountainside, she wrestled with the sadness and the happiness this ride brought her, as she admired the beauty that surrounded them. Sadness for the loss of her granddaddy, and the happiness of thinking this long forgotten farm was still here, even if the fields had long since returned to dense forest.

The trail now level, she pulled the paper from her coat pocket, studied the sketch, then swung down to investigate the lay of the land. "I think we've made it Bluebell!" She hugged Bluebell's neck, then led the way toward what looked like a clearing. A clearing overgrown with briers and thickets, but it could be the spot. It just could be.

Then she saw it, ahead of them, posed in a brilliant sun spot was the leaning roof of the old cabin's porch. Following the faint trail blazed by raccoons, foxes and other critters she and Bluebell pushed through the brush to the porch.

Bluebell picked at the grass and weeds as she studied the porch and shack. From the stories she'd heard the shack seemed small, now that she stood on the porch. Her porch. Never once did her granddaddy ever tell her he still owned the old farm. Never once did he tell her he would will it to her. But he did, and now it was hers. She sat down on the edge of a broken beam, chewed on a blade of grass, and shed a tear for the sweet old man. "I found it Granddaddy, just where you said it would be." Her watery eyes fell on the old bucket hanging on the wall.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry