Author: Melissa

The Problems with Protein

(post by Jason) Is a 16% protein feed the right thing to feed my horse? The short answer to that question is I don’t know. I’m going to spend the rest of this blog post explaining why I don’t know, and why protein is perhaps the most misunderstood and mysterious nutrient in most equine enthusiast’s toolbox. I want to start by saying protein is *important*. It’s impossible to build or repair muscle, adequately oxygenate blood or muscle, or do any number of other things if protein is deficient. The good news is that protein is very rarely deficient in...

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Sunday Stills

Johnny and Indy George and Gus Fendi and Doni Romeo and Lotus Donneur and Moses Blu and Taco Quigly and Happy Gibson and Ralph Gus, Silver and Cocomo Sam and Lighty Johnny, Happy and Taco Digby and Sebastian Elf and Taco B-Rad and Paramount Bear and...

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Wednesday Pictures

Penny and Dawn Alfie and Taylor Remmy and Duesy grooming Duesy, Bruno and Baner Remmy and Merlin were happy to graze in the rain Baner and Art Cody and Dooley Renny and Cody (and aAlfie) Cinnamon and Jake Maddie and Diamond Maggie and Charlotte Maggie and Gracie Penny and Missy Jake and Missy Penny and Diamond Lily and Maisie Havana and Sport Cuffie and...

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Sunday Stills

Moe and Revy Toledo and Roho Squirrel and Sushi Wilson and Toledo Levendi and Moe Trigger and Faisal Hemi and Apollo Faisal and King Cisco and Revy Rey and Levendi Baby and Convey Chance and Convey two different grooming sessions; Inti and Ricardo, Thomas and Hemi Thomas and Hemi Toledo, Ripley and Furb Rubrico and Franklin Rocky and Roho Sushi and...

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Understanding Hay Test Results, Dry Matter and Energy

(post by Jason) Today we’re going to explore our hay test in a bit more depth. Last week I wrote at some length about measuring fibre levels and digestibility in hay and why those things might be important in terms of balancing equine diets. I want to focus today’s blog on talking about energy level and why that’s probably the most important number on your hay test. In order to do that I’m going to start with a few equine nutrition facts. Although it’s a bit unwieldy I’m going to use mostly US Standard units of measure for today’s...

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Sunday Stills

Dawn and Diamond Maggie and Gracie Charlotte, Maggie and Missy Maddie, Missy and Maggie (and Charlotte and Jake) Penny and Diamond Sport and Bruno Art and Baner Cinnamon and Jake Diamond, Maggie and Maisie Lily and Traveller Cuffie Duesy and Merlin Remmy and Renny Havana and Dooley Cody and Baner Taylor and...

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Understanding Hay Test Results, Part One

(post by Jason) Since we got our hay tests back today I am going to begin sharing some of the information we use to evaluate the forage portion of our horse diets. That’s the first and most fundamental step in designing a grain and mineral ration that complements your forage and thus *really* balances the diet. I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I say that each line of the hay test shown below could easily turn into a blog post. Equine enthusiasts tend to focus heavily on the level of crude protein and the mineral levels in hay, particularly...

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Sunday Stills

Happy and Quigly Lighty and Sebastian Blu and B-Rad Johnny and Ascot Blu and Taco Sam and Lighty Paramount and Digby Ascot, Indy and Digby Bear and Elf Donneur and Moses Cocomo, Gus and Gibson Silver and Fendi Lotus and Romeo Ralph and George Doni and George...

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What We Want to Know About Hay

(post by Jason) A lot of people don’t realize that in addition to farming I spent fifteen years putting my education to good practical use balancing rations and troubleshooting for large feed companies in Canada and in the USA. As a consequence of my experiences helping farmers balance the diets they feed to match the nutrients livestock actually needs to perform optimally, our approach to balancing horse diets here at Paradigm Farms is significantly different that what gets done on most horse farms. On most horse farms as near as I can tell people feed hay of widely varying...

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Sunday Stills

Thomas and Apollo Hemi and Levendi Convey, Chance and Baby King and Thomas Toledo and Franklin Rubrico and Sushi Furb and Ripley Rocky and Roho Sushi and Squirrel Wilson and Ripley Ricardo and Inti Levendi and Cisco Revy and Faisal Trigger and Moe Rey and...

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Wednesday Pictures

Moses Elf, Paramount, Ascot and Indy Indy, Digby and Paramount Lighty Happy and Bear Quigly and Taco B-Rad and Sam Blu and B-Rad Bear and Johnny Sam and Sebastian Cocomo and Doni Romeo and Lotus Silver and Gus Gibson (and Donneur and Moses) George and Donneur Fendi and...

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Sunday Stills

Gracie and Dawn grooming Maggie and Maggie grooming, Cinnamon watching Traveller, Missy and Gracie Penny, Dawn and Cinnamon Charlotte and Cuffie Jake and Charlotte Diamond and Maddie Lily and Maisie (and Penny) Dooley and Sport Art and Alfie Havana and Renny Cody and Dooley Baner Bruno and Duesy Taylor and Dooley Remmy and...

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Vaccination Day

The pace of life has been pretty hectic at Paradigm Farms over the last couple of weeks. Body clipping was in full swing. We clipped 21 horses and only have Sparky the donkey left in the clipping queue. Jason fertilized all of the pastures. Yesterday was extra busy as we vaccinated all of the horses. To make vaccination day go smoothly it takes a lot of advance planning. I coordinate with the vet clinic and give them an exact count for each vaccine.  On vaccination day I print out instructions and we each have a copy. The horses are...

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Sunday Stills

Cocomo and Ralph Bear and Quigly Digby and Paramount Johnny and Blu Happy, Sebastian and Blu Bear and B-Rad Taco and Sam Ascot and Lighty Indy, Elf and Digby Moses and George Fendi Gus and Gibson were not interested in taking perfect “after” pictures to show off their body clips Bruno being clipped Silver and (a freshly clipped) Gibson Gus and George Donneur and Ralph Romeo, Lotus and Doni Romeo and Lotus Paramount wishing he was anywhere except separated from his friends and being clipped Paramount and Sebastian showing off their fresh...

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Spring Clipping Marathon

Towards the end of last week I started the annual spring body clipping marathon. From a temperature perspective we’ve had a really nice spring which meant there has been no rush to start clipping the non or poor shedders. With only one exception every horse we need to clip has Cushing’s/PPID.  As of today we’ve done thirteen body clips and have about 10 more to go. I don’t clip every day as, of course, we also have other things to do, and on my clipping days I clip 2 to 4 horses per day. When I’m done I undress...

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Webbs in the Wild

Even by farm standards in our area (as opposed to subdivision standards) I think our farm has a lot of wildlife on it. This is definitely due to the permanent water sources located on our farm. We have a spring that originates on our farm. The spring has never gone dry, not even in severe droughts. The spring feeds into a small creek on our farm, which feeds into a larger creek after it leaves our farm. Jason and I often take an evening walk on our mile long driveway and we see the usual deer, turkeys, coyotes, foxes...

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Quarantine Birthday

Jason had a birthday over the weekend. When you can’t go shopping it makes acquiring birthday presents and a birthday cake a bit harder than normal. There is  fantastic, gluten free restaurant near us that makes amazing cakes. Even better they have a drive through window which makes picking up the cake extra easy. Since quarantine parties are hard to make fun I thought I would get Jason a really good cake. I told the owner of the restaurant to make it really good and surprise me. She made this five layer chocolate creation complet with chocolate chip cookies...

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Wednesday Pictures

Missy and Jake Taylor and Alfie Penny and Cinnamon Maddie and Maggie Cuffie Charlotte and Dawn Maggie and Gracie Traveller and Cuffie Diamond and Maggie Bruno and Sport Renny and Merlin Dooley and Havana Art and Bruno Remmy and Baner Dooley and Cody Havana and Duesy Lily and...

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Sunday Stills

Thomas and Levendi Rocky Toledo, Franklin and Sushi Convey and Chance Ricardo and Revy Trigger and Cisco King and Levendi Baby Rey and Cisco Cisco Inti, Apollo and Hemi Faisal and Moe Convey and Revy Rubrico, Squirrel and Ripley (Toledo napping in the dirt) Franklin and Gus Wilson and Ripley Toledo and...

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An Ode to Grass

(post by Jason) Since this is a horse blog it’s no surprise that we talk a lot about caring for the horses entrusted to us by their owners. It may come as a surprise that in spite of sixteen hundred or more blog posts….most of them directly related to horses….our success in caring for our charges has at least as much to do with the grass growing on this farm as it does anything else that we do. There are two terrestrial…that is land based…..biomes that are warm enough and wet enough to support unirrigated agriculture. Of these two...

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Sunday Stills

Maddie and Diamond Missy, Cinnamon and Jake the perfect lineup of horses and names; Maddie, Maggie and Maggie Jake and Gracie Cuffie and Diamond Penny and Charlotte Dawn (Maddie and Maggie in the background) Lily and Maisie Traveller and Maddie Sport, Bruno and Cody Remmy and Duesy Merlin and Art Alfie and Taylor Sport and Dooley Baner and Cody Renny several pictures of Sport and Cody being...

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The COVID Diaries Jason Volume

The COVID Diaries Jason Volume The hardest part about COVID 19 is that in some ways our daily routine really hasn’t changed very much. If all goes as normal we get up in the morning, feed and thoroughly check the horses, have breakfast, work at whatever outside task presents itself through the morning, have lunch, repeat working at outside tasks, do chores, have supper, and end the day. We have not had any issues getting an appointment with our vet when one is needed. Ditto for farriers. Ordering feed and getting it delivered is no problem. We really haven’t...

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Sunday Stills

Sam and Paramount Blu and Johnny Ascot and Indy Bear and Indy Quigly and Sam Lighty and Happy Johnny, Elf and Bear B-Rad, Blu, Johnny, Taco, Paramount and Bear Digby and Sebastian Moses and George Gus and Silver Cocomo and Lotus Fendi, Lotus and Romeo Gibson and Doni Ralph, Fendi and Donneur Doni, Moses and...

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COVID-19 Diary, Part 5

The past week has continued to be a lesson in how life off the farm operates differently in a pandemic. Last week I noticed one of our indoor only cats, Joy, didn’t want to eat one night. Joy lives to eat, she always eats, so I knew something was wrong. The next morning I called our small animal vet as soon as they opened. I drove Joy to the clinic, and then called again from the parking lot. I was instructed to set the cat carrier on the sidewalk and that a vet tech would be out to retrieve...

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Monday Stills

Chance, Convey, Ricardo, King and Trigger Moe and Thomas Thomas and Apollo Revy and Hemi Trigger, Baby and Moe Moe and Levendi Cisco and Hemi Inti and Faisal (Convey and Rey hiding in the background) Rey and Inti Franklin and Toledo Squirrel and Rocky Sushi and Squirrel Gus and Roho Rubrico and Squirrel Wilson and...

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COVID-19 Diary, Part 4

Early April is a very popular time to have a birthday at Paradigm Farms. Carter has already celebrated his birthday and he was in good company over the past week as Hemi, Blu and Rey have all had birthdays as well.  Carter had a video call with his two best friends on his birthday. Lots of people sang happy birthday to him over the phone, some of whom would have normally done so in person. BC – before coronavirus – birthdays are more fun than WC – with coronavirus – birthdays. Jason has spent much of his “free” time...

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Sunday Stills

Lily showing off her carefully placed dirt Charlotte and Dawn Cinnamon, Jake and Missy new face Maggie and Gracie Art soaking up the sun Art, Cody and Baner Renny and Art Remmy and Alfie Bruno, Sport and Baner Charlotte and Traveller Cuffie Maggie and Diamond Missy and Jake Gracie and Maddie Penny and Traveller Maisie Havana and Merlin Alfie and Taylor Duesy and...

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COVID-19 Diary, Part 3

Life continues in these strange times. The first two weeks of living in voluntary quarantine I longed for life BC – Before Coronavirus. Someone else coined that term but I think it is so appropriate I have incorporated it into my vocabulary. BC life seemed easier. You didn’t have to plan jaunts off the farm for simple things like groceries days in advance. You just got in the car and drove to the grocery store. Now I’m starting to get used to life WC – With Coronavirus – in some strange way. I drove to the bank today to...

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Sunday Stills

Donneur and George Taco, Johnny and Sam Bear and Digby Treats for Sebastian . . . . . . and treats for Quigly Blu and Indy Bear and Lighty Ralph and Cocomo Gus, Gibson, Lotus and Romeo B-Rad and Ascot Paramount, Sam, Happy and Johnny Cocomo and Silver Moses and George Ralph, Fendi and...

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COVID-19 Diary, Part 2

A week ago I wrote about the scary world we live in with COVID-19. Jason and I are sheltering in place, attempting to homeschool while still working full time, and avoiding contact with the outside world as much as possible. Over the last 15 days I’ve left the farm once and Jason has left the farm once. I went to the post office and Jason went to the grocery store. Before Jason went to the store we made a list of needed items, planned his route through the store to make his time in there as efficient as possible,...

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Sunday Stills

King, Trigger and Hemi Cisco, Thomas and Moe Levendi and Revy Thomas and Apollo Rubrico, Roho, Squirrel and Gus Sushi and Rubrico King, Thomas and Baby King, Thomas and Baby Ricardo and Convey Chance and Cisco King and Faisal Rey and Convey Toledo and Rocky Rubrico, Ripley, Wilson and new face Franklin Wilson and Ripley...

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