Enjoyable Dressage

One of the more common comments about watching dressage is that it is like watching paint dry. The biggest exception to this blanket statement about dressage is the freestyle competition. It is always a crowd favorite. Here is one of the best examples dressage freestyle that I have ever seen. The link below will take you to a video clip hosted on YouTube. Enjoy!!

Andreas Helgstrand – WEG2006 Freestyle Final

Immigration Insights | The Online NewsHour | PBS

Immigration Insights | The Online NewsHour | PBS

South Carolina peach farmer Chalmers Carr talks about immigration in the next installment in the NewsHour’s series.

I was a little concerned when I first saw him appear on the television screen but when he starting talking about migrant workers I found myself agreeing with everything he said about the migrant worker/visa issue. We are still waiting for the visa for Pedro so he can return legally. In a perfect world he would have been back working for us in the middle of June. Considering all of the paperwork that I have done to get this far, I have to say our immigration system is set up to discourage legal entry by Mexican. Since our system is making legal entry a pain in the butt you are encouraging the average Mexican woker to seriously consider illegal entry and for the average U.S. business employing Mexican workers to look the other way. The migrant worker visa program needs to streamlined to encourage foreign workers and U. S. businesses to strive to be legal. This part of the immigration problem could be fixed with longer visa’s and reduced annual paperwork.

How the immigraton fuss affects small farms

We have a small farm and we hire several people to help us with the work. For a long time we used local people with mixed success. Last year we hired a Mexican worker, Pedro, who was here on a H2B visa. He has been great. We pay a little more for him but we use one worker where we used to use two. Part of the explanation is that he is male, physcally capable of doing the work without injury, and does not mind working alone. We used to use two female workers and they were happiest if they worked as a group and split the work. Even then the work was physically tasking for them. The females easily preferred grooming over stall cleaning even if it meant less hours. So we found a happy medium for our workers.

Now we have a problem because imigration(illegal alien worker) issues is the hot political issue. Our man had come in on a group visa approval and the government is not approving groups anymore. That’s too bad! The cost to the farm was minimal. Since I prefer to follow the laws I put him on a payroll, paid overtime, and withheld taxes just like any other employee. His cost for the visa was about $300. That is a lot of money but he felt it was pretty reasonable. We had a mutually acceptable plan.

His lawyer recommended that our farm sponsor him. Pedro was getting pretty anxious about the situation so he had a friend write us a letter asking us to help him. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours translating his note and reading the legal papers his lawyer sent us. We are going to sponsor him but it is going to cost almost $1,000 if we are approved. I won’t go in to the details of how we manage the increased cost. Except for the fact that our costs are going up because of this political mess, this immigration mess is much ado about nothing.  If we are not approved, we will be a mess for awhile. Assuming we are approved, we don’t expect to change much.

Ohio’s Trees Introduction

Ohio’s Trees Introduction

Red Oak 2005

Although Fall does not end for another month the beauty of Fall is quietly ending. For the last two weeks the leaves of our maple trees were a beautiful shade of yellow and the leaves on the red oaks were a brillant shade of red. We have woken to a few frosts but the temperature during the days has been very pleasant. Then a thunderstorm came through on Sunday and the leaves are all gone. The weather will be very nice today but we can tell that the cold and grayness of winter is just around the corner.

Things go wrong when you least expect it

Two weeks ago I was marvelling at a new device our vet had just acquired. It was a new x-ray machine that did a really nice job of showing an almost three dimensional view of the bones. We had a horse, Aladdin, who had been diagnosed with OCD(osteochondrosis dessicans) in both rear hocks. The new machine showed a really nice view of the chips. Our vet recommended that we take the horse down to Rood and Riddle for arthroscopic surgery to remove the chips. This seemed like a no-brainer. We had people interested in buying the horse. Although the operation was going to cost us $2700, the last hurdle to selling the horse would be removed. The horse was going to be better than he had ever been since he was born. I had great hopes for him being a great riding horse for someone.

Well, things did not work out as planned. A week after the surgery, infection flared up. We knew we had a serious situation. Our vet flushed the joint with a bottle of Betadine solution and a bottle of saline solution. He administered antibiotics. Our vet gave us the decision to either take the horse back to Rood and Riddle or he could flush the joint out daily. The treatment would be approximately the same in both locations so we opted to use our vet to administer the treatment. Initially the treatment seemed to be working and the horse seemed to have stabilized. Yesterday, things got dramatically worse. He was infected in both hocks. Our only option was to take him down to Rood and Riddle but the prognosis was not good! The treatment at Rood and Riddle would be very expensive and the chances of a recovery were slim. We decided to put him down. It was a right decision even though it was painful to make. I seem to make personal relationships with each horse we have. So this decision was like watching a friend die. I have other things I must do so I have compartmentalized this decision and the second guessing for another day.

New Treatment for Tendon and Ligament Injuries

“A medical device derived from the lining of urinary bladders of specially bred pigs shows promise for healing equine tendon and ligament injuries, according to Rick Mitchell, DVM, of Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, Conn. Mitchell recently addressed a group of veterinarians at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Wash., about the technology and his positive experiences with it in his practice.” [thehorse.com]

For those of us have dealt with slow healing ligament and tendon damage this looks promising since this promotes healing rather than just minimizing the symptoms.

AHS Inspection at Oakwood Farms.

We took Concerto over to the AHS Inspection at Oakwood Farms to get branded. Ron and Meg did a great job hosting the inspection. There were over 50 horses at this inspection and everything went smoothly. Although I tried to get some nice photos over Concerto, the the best photos I got were of the top filly. She is by Widmark(Meg's stallion) and out of Delightt/Diwan. She was quite the showoff!

[Legacy Farm Ltd.]

Amor Retos' Offspring Slideshow.

Microsoft Plus! Digital Media EditionHere is a Windows Media photo slideshow set to music of Amor Reto's offspring(909 KB). It's a fun little piece that did not take me too long to create. The RealMedia version came in at a hefty 2.2MB.

This all started when I was websurfing yesterday I found a found a website with a photo slideshow set to music. It was cute and I wondered how hard it would be for me to do the same thing. I did alot of research before I realized that I already had all of the tools I needed, Pinnacle Studio. If you do not have something like Studio a really cool and inexpensive too is Plus! Photo Story. You can order Microsoft Plus! a little cheaper from Amazon.

[Legacy Farm Ltd.]