I came across an interesting article today about the debate over whether or not to blanket a horse during the winter months. The article was published by Colorado State University, and is titled: To Blanket or not to Blanket? That’s a Good Cold Weather Question? (I very much recommend giving it a read, or at least a skim). The question of whether or not to blanket was one that I had last winter, when I took home Snow, so I was interested to see what they had to say about the matter.
Ultimately, the article details that the decision on whether or not to blanket is a personal one. One of the first arguments that it makes about blanketing is about proper winter shelter. Although horses really do need shelter year round, it is essential that they have shelter in the winter months to protect from the wind, ice and snow. A horse who isn’t wearing a blanket needs to have proper winter shelter so that they are not standing out in the wind.
Another factor the article brings up, and one that I hadn’t really thought about, is the horse’s Winter Diet. In the winter, one of the ways that a horse stays warm is through eating and digestion. If a horse isn’t going to be wearing a blanket, then he needs to be constantly eating and digesting roughage (ie hay) to keep his body temperature up.
Perhaps the most interesting dilemma that the article discusses is that the decision to blanket a horse may have an effect on their natural hair growth in the winter. For horses who maintain a short body clipping all winter long, this may not ever be an issue. For horses who have a natural coat, however, it could potentially be an issue down the road.
Interesting stuff! To Blanket or Not to Blanket?
Early last week, I came a cross a website that has since caught my attention. The website is called, FarmHer.com, and aims to “Document Women in Agriculture through Photography”. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find the name of the woman who started the project, which is a shame because I’d very much like to make her my new best friend.
The website has some incredible still photographs of women farmers in action. The creator of the website says that her, “goal is to capture the beauty in the every day and my style is to show who these women are through subtleties. Subtleties that show these are women and portray that they are agriculture.” If that’s not some poetic language, I don’t know what is. She goes on to say that, “By infusing images of women in agriculture into farm imagery we can change the way people perceive a farmer.” woah.
Strangely enough, discovering this website has made me start to wonder if I can even begin to consider myself a “farmer”? And question of course, the true meaning of a Farmer. At Black River, we have an award titled the “BR Farmer”, which is given to the camper who best embodies the qualities of a farmer. At camp, we define a farmer as someone who works hard at the barn – with or without being asked. And more importantly someone who loves animals and who will take care of them at all costs, day or night, rain or shine. I’d like to believe that I can call myself a farmer (and my gut intuitively seems to tell me that I can) but my farming abilities pale in comparison to the women showcased on FarmHer.
If you consider yourself a farmer or just want to take a look through some inspiring images of women in agriculture go on and check out FarmHer.com. I’d say this is one of my new favorite projects and I can’t wait to see how it develops in the future!
There is not a single thing in this world that is more fun than getting a shiny new belt buckle, especially when it looks like this:
Isn’t that a beauty? All of the staff members were sent one as a thank you gift from Black River Farm and Ranch. We must be the luckiest group of ladies in all of Michigan! Although I was disappointed to learn that the buckle doesn’t quite work with my current belt, you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as I get myself a new belt this beauty is going to become a staple in my wardrobe!