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Winter Horse Care Checklist | Ask Debbie

February 8th, 2013

Continuing our Ask Debbie question from Ellie, P. Here is my winter checklist for keeping my horses happy and healthy during these cold winter months. Read the first part of this Winter Checklist.

Your Horses

  • Heavy winter coats can disguise weight loss. Be sure to check your horses weight periodically.
  • Snow build up in horses hoofs can relieved by applying a little vaseline on the inside of the hoof. You help your horse from becoming sore as well as adding a little moisturizer in the winter!
  • Horses heavy coats help to insulate them in the winter months. The ‘fluffy’ hair traps in heat. Beware of ‘over blanketing’.  Be sure to under blankets for dry coats. Remove blankets only when its a warmer time of the day so your horse can adjust to the cooler temperatures.
  • If your concerned about your horses water intake, ask your vet about putting electrolytes in their water.
  • Be sure to keep up with a good and consistent worming schedule.
  • Is your horse over stepping and pulling shoes more often in the winter? Keep dry hoofs moisturized with hoof oil and consider using bell boots when in pasture.  Also consider pulling shoes if your not working your horses frequently.


What do you do to protect your horses during the cold winter months? Did I miss something? Share in the comments below.

Have a question for Debbie, visit here to submit your question:

Sophie’s Big Christmas

December 28th, 2012

Did you have a great Christmas? Not only did our family have a great time being together, but Sophie got a little excited too!  This year, she received a special gift from her cousin, (my sisters dog), Sadie.  Sadie knew just what Sophie needed, a ‘candy’ dish filled with her favorite biscuits!

At just the right height for Sophie, her pedestaled dish was set before her, and Kristen had to help her by breaking a few biscuits… a girl needs a little help now and then…

Once Sophie realized what she had been missing (her whole life), she politely pulled one biscuit out at a time and ate her treats.

I don’t know if Sophie realized that she also had a new ‘necklace’ bling that was tied with a ribbon around the handle of the lid on her ‘candy’ dish. A cute little dog bone with an inscription! We thought it said “Sophie”, but at a closer glance this is what it said:


And actually, we would not have it any other way! We hope you enjoyed your Christmas and  gifts as much as Sophie did! Have a great weekend and spend some time having fun with family, your animals and new gifts.  Did your dogs or horses get a special gift this year? 

Thank you for reading our blog. We look forward to your comments and ideas and will see you next year in 2013! 


Christmas in the Barn

December 19th, 2012

It does not take much for a barn to feel good! Just the sound of the horses and the smell of the hay makes my worst day – better.  But, at this very special time of the year, there seems to be a more distinct and loving charm that winds into our barns and into our hearts.  Christmas brings hope, joy and the expectation of a brand New Year! This is what I see in our barn as Christmas is fast approaching.

Caz and Wasabi in the RAMM barn

In our barn, all the animals must pick up on the excitement of the season. Even the chicken ‘girls’ lay an egg or two, although with less day light hours the laying normally stops. The ducks seem to want to wait until spring to start laying again. Thats okay. We gathered eggs in November from them to make the Thanksgiving noodles that always turn out better with the fresh duck eggs!

The ladies in the barn.

David and Goliath love to be part of our Christmas barn. They gladly enjoy having biscuits anytime. But the special apple and biscuit mix that comes only a few times a year, really gets their attention. They are so happy together and I’m so glad that when we purchased them many years ago, we brought 2 home instead of our intended ‘one’ mini donkey!  They are just so happy to be together.

David and Goliath.

Our Christmas would just not be the same without our 2 reindeer, Ginger (Bread) and Cocoa. They are mother and daughter. Cocoa was born in our barn and has been with her mother ever since. They are practicing right now.. flying has to start early to be in condition for the BIG night. As a ‘relief’ team (for the big man in the red suite), our girls need to be ready and in good shape. Sometimes you catch the silhouette of, our reindeer, quickly moving past the winter moon.  They are majestic, love the cold weather and ~ flying!

Ginger and Cocoa

This year we were invited to our friend’s Christmas party in their barn.  About 30 people visited and strolled from the warm viewing room – filled with good food and drinks to the indoor riding arena that had patio warmers along the indoor wall – keeping the cold evening air at bay.  It was so much fun to see people riding, looking and talking about horses, fencing and stalls!

Yes – the dogs came out in all their glory too. Little Mocha (our daughter and son-in-laws mini dash-hound) , Piper, (their Cocker Spaniel pup), a soft and cuddly German Shepard puppy and 2 big fluffy show dogs. Everyone made sure the dogs felt welcomed too. We horse owners tend to love animals! They were introduced, petted and talked to as they passed by!

Riders, babies and puppies at the Christmas barn party.

Many of us rode our horses in the indoor, it felt so good to ride our green horse that I have lovingly called ‘baby Baxter’. No longer a baby.. (but, I still like to call him that), Baxter walked calmly around the indoor while children played on nearby round straw bales that were piled nearly to the rafters. Baxter traveled well with all the sounds and noises. I realized just how far he has come and was thrilled to think that he is turning into a good horse from all the exposure and riding that he gets.

Gretchen, our granddaughter rode too…More into music and playing her harp, she does not ride often, but did a good job riding one of the kind school horses.  That ‘distinct and loving charm that winds into our barns’ and hearts seems to follow Gretchen too.. When we looked at our pictures later that night, little sparkles of lights were in the photos. They seemed to follow her and arch up like a pair of wings!

Gretchen on the kind lesson horse ~ see the sparkles that look like ‘wings’? And see the children in the background on the round straw bales? This is Christmas!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that your barn offers you a ‘gift’ every time you walk into it. Look for the sparkles and joy that will follow you the whole year through!


Getting Ready for the Holiday’s!

December 13th, 2012

Owning a family business can push you into doing things that you never dreamed you could or would do! You may not know this, but at RAMM our family does it all ~ with the help of our wonderful employees! I truly believe we could be a pretty funny reality show if some one followed us all day!

Our following holiday pictures are the ‘out takes’ that we thought we would share with you and may put a smile on your face.  These are the ones that we don’t show, because…well you will see for yourself!  We hope you enjoy our ‘bloopers’ and that it gives you a break from this busy time of the year!

So James, Kristen and I took lights, decorations, and a bucket full of biscuits with treats and grain, out to the barn.. The horses definitely knew something was up! They were delighted to help us and ‘play’ with all of our props… I think we put the angel on that tree at least 10 times if not more! Thank you Wasabi for letting us know you and Caz are some of the ‘top’ angels in our family! (Caz loved the carrot bites!)


What ever it takes to get the right picture! So James is taking a picture of me taking a picture of the horses while Kristen diligently tries to get both horses to put their heads through the wreath! Sheww… that’a a run-on sentence! But you get the idea.

Finally, after picking the angel up many times…Kristen gets both Caz and Wasabi’s attention and James snapped the picture just as Kristen ducked out, just in time! YEAH!  Look at those sweet boys!

We had spent a few hours trying to get just the right shots. Next step ~Kristen brought her ‘light up’ candy canes and snow man… Have you ever tried to stand up candy canes with metal ends (meant to go into the ground) on a stall floor? You can see Wasabi is skeptical about the whole process, and Caz just thinks the candy canes look good enough to eat! Sorry Kristen for catching you in the action ‘pose’.


Awhh…tea time in the barn!  Would anyone like a spot of tea and crumpets? (We were actually all ready for some strong coffee).

And for the grand finale ~ one of the last shots…those pretty lit up candy canes all standing in a nice row…Yes, it was me! As I coaxed the horses to ‘smile for the camera’ they all fell over ~ just like domino’s!  OH MY!  I think we were exasperated at that point, but did get those candy canes standing back up and captured several great shots!  All in a day’s work at RAMM!

If you like this story and would like to see more of RAMM’s behind the scene pictures and stories, let me know your thoughts! We wish you a fun and light hearted  Holiday!