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Lets Talk Digestive Supplements

Let’s Talk Supplements, Part I

Equine supplements can be a controversial subject, and it seems that every equestrian has their own opinion about them. Some love them, some hate them and others fall somewhere in between. Personally, I fall into that last category: “somewhere in between.” I think that many horses, especially the ones I come into regular contact with at boarding barns and on the show circuit, receive their nutritional requirements from the grain, hay and grass they eat. I also know from my equine nutrition class in college that you can make a horse very, very sick by over supplementing, especially minerals such as vitamin A and Selenium.

However, as a discerning horse owner, I always want to do what’s best for my horse. The first thing I did when I bought Miles was take him off all of his supplements; I wanted to know if he needed them, or if he was on them just because. Now that I’ve owned Miles for six months, I feel like I have a much better handle on what he needs nutritionally, but I still have some decisions to make.

In this short series, I’m going to discuss three areas of supplements that I’m currently using or considering for Miles: digestive, skin & coat and joint. I’d love for you to chime in with your opinion and hear about what supplements have or haven’t worked for you.

Equine Digestive Tract

Digestive Supplements

When I purchased Miles he was on a maintenance dose of SmartGut from SmartPak, and we speculated that it was his previous owner’s way of treating him for possible ulcers. Miles was never scoped by a vet, or put on treatment (such as GastroGuard) for ulcers; so I pulled him off the SmartGut.

After a few weeks I noticed that Miles had loose stool, and it stuck around for a while. It wasn’t diarrhea, but it did get all over his back legs and let’s face it, that’s just gross. So I consulted with my vet, and decided to put Miles on a digestive supplement: ProBios. ProBios contain Lactic Acid Bacteria and other direct fed microbials. In animals, direct fed microbials can restore the normal balance in the gut and improve overall health.

Miles started the ProBios supplement in November 2013, and since then he’s had loose stool twice. Overall, I’m quite happy with the product. I feel confident that this type of supplement was something Miles needed, and that it has improved his overall health, which is always my goal when considering a supplement. Plus, the cost is relatively small. I was able to find the 5lb can of granules on Amazon for $35 plus shipping. Considering the first 5lb tub I bought lasted about four months, that’s only 30 cents a day – not too shabby!

What do you think about digestive supplements? Do you use one for your horse?

All the Custom Printed Things, Wedding Edition

I am officially 78 days away from my wedding, which means I’m down to finalizing the nitty-gritty details, for the most part. And my personality is really starting to show itself… especially in all the things I’m good at/care about most. Flowers? Don’t care. Arts and crafts? I suck at that. But as a marketing/communications professional I am good at designing things, especially printed pieces, and making sure everything matches.

Which is where I’m currently getting myself into trouble. You might remember that I designed my own Save the Date postcards… which has turned into designing my own wedding invitations. Because all the fonts and colors have to match each other, and match the website (that I also designed), right? This is critical… well in my own little world of marketing it is.

Oooooh. ahhhhh!

And of course who can stop at just matching the invitation pieces? I’m now also designing stickers and labels for my wedding favors, the return address stamp for our RSVP envelopes, table numbers and all signage. I must have all the custom print design!

Luckily, for the most part, doing these things myself is saving me money, and not costing me more. But if you’re wondering why I haven’t ridden in the last few days… this is why. That and the fact that the temperatures dropped 50 degrees in 48 hours. #FML

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: What’s in Your Name?

I’ve wanted to talk about this for a while now, but never really came across a good time to discuss the name of my blog… until now. L Williams at Viva Carlos is continuing her “Magikal” blog hop and asked:

“What is the story behind your blog name/URL?”

I decided to begin blogging in February 2012 and in my very first post “What it’s All About” I tried to explain what the blog was and the type of content reader’s might expect. But it sucked, and I pretty much sounded like a a 13-year-old manic depressive with no focus in life. Not too long after I began my adventure into blogland, my horse Visa got hurt, and died. So that pretty much ended my motivation to write about horsey-related news.

The Mastercard • “Visa” • Jan. 31, 1993 – Apr. 17, 2012

I finally picked myself back up about a year later and got serious about keeping my blog active in April 2013, and I’ve been (more or less) posting regularly ever since. But why Fly On Over, and what has my blog really become?

I was lucky in that I read several equestrian blogs before I ever started my own, so I had some time to think a little bit about what I wanted to do before I actually began. My conclusion? I wanted a unique name that at least somewhat described what the heck was going on.

ohio

I live in Ohio. And let me tell you a secret: nobody ever travels to Ohio for any reason other than family. And people certainly don’t live here for the fantastic weather, the amazing history or all the great sight-seeing. But Ohio is my home: I’ve lived here all my life and as much as I say I’d like to move south to avoid the winter, I’ve grown roots here and it’s difficult to see myself leaving. Ohio is a typical midwest state… right in the middle of fly over country.

While I originally started this blog to talk about my life in general, it quickly became apparent that the only interesting thing about me is that I ride and show horses. And honestly, that’s all I really want to talk about anyways. Sure, a girls gotta eat so I try new recipes, but I suck at cooking… and it’s not exciting to talk about all the food I want to eat… but shouldn’t. And of course every once in a while I go out… but let’s face it: I don’t travel and I go to the same places all. the. time. I am not adventurous.

So the focus of my blog became horses, even if I sometimes torture my readers with other goings on occasionally. And, as you all know, I am a hunter/jumper. Well, a hunter. I’ve never, ever done jumpers even because I’m a weenie. So of course, while it may be a bit cliche, I fly over stuff. Horses lend us the wings we lack, and all that. Thus…

Fly On Over

the story of an adult amateur hunter in fly over country 

 

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: 7 Deadly Sins

Work is crazy busy and my head is still spinning from all the meetings I’ve had lately. So today you get a blog hop! I know, nothing like jumping on the bandwagon to prove just how innovative and creative I’m not. But this is a bit of a different survey and I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s answers, so here goes.

Pride: Seven great things/strengths in your riding life

  1. My Horse
    Miles is exactly the type of horse I need at this point in my riding career and we’re going to be able to accomplish a lot of goals together.
  2. My Support System
    I have great family and friends that understand and support my horse addiction… and I’m so lucky to have them around!
  3. My Trainer
    She’s awesome and we get along so great; she challenges me but never pushes too far.
  4. My Facility
    The barn I board at not only has awesome facilities, but fabulous staff that help me out all the time.
  5. My New Saddle
    It’s fucking awesome.
  6. My Dedication
    I’m working hard, putting in the hours, to accomplish my goals this year and I think it’s going to stand me in good stead when year-review time comes around.
  7. My Humility
    I’m not afraid to ask for help or to say I don’t understand. I never think I’m too good for something, and I’m always looking for ways to improve myself as a rider and horsewoman.

miles cooler

Envy: Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse

  1. Shorter Distance
    I really wish I lived closer to the barn!
  2. Truck & Trailer
    Sometimes I miss out on opportunities because I have to rely on others for transportation.
  3. Confidence
    While it’s something I am constantly working on, I know my lack of confidence holds me back from moving up divisions and improving my riding skills.
  4. More Money
    Let’s face it, in the world of horse showing you can never, ever have enough money.
  5. Life Experiences
    One of the reasons I get so nervous is because so many things are new for me… I really want to get out more and get some life experiences under my belt so to speak… like trail riding.
  6. Fitness
    In order to be a better rider, I need to improve my overall health and fitness.
  7. More Time
    Whoever decided that working full-time should be 40+ hours/5 days a week seriously sucks.

Wrath: Seven things that make you angry

  1. Neglect
    I hate neglectful horse owners. Hate. Feed your horse, give it water and shelter and love on it.
  2. Spoiled Children/Adults
    Please don’t ever throw your ribbon on the ground or act like you deserve the world. Just don’t.
  3. Politics
    Sometimes I wish that this sport could just be about great riding and celebrating the amazing animals horses are and what they can do for us.
  4. Money
    If wishes were horses, I’d make them all free and live on air alone.
  5. Lack of 2’3″ Divisions
    Why is it that NO WHERE in Ohio has 2’3″ Hunter divisions? It’s stupid and I hate it.
  6. Envy
    I hate that sometimes I have times where I am just so jealous of someone else and what they have that I don’t… instead of just being happy for them and grateful for what I do have.
  7. Judgement
    I hate being judged by someone before they get to know me. Don’t assume I’m rich because I have a horse and don’t assume because I’m a hunter that I’m spoiled and snarky.

grand prix jumper

Sloth: Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on

  1. Wash Blankets
    Still haven’t done that all winter. And they’re gross and smelly now.
  2. Pull Manes
    I’ve yet to pull Miles’s mane… I just keep cutting it.
  3. Clean my Tall Boots
    Considering I only have one pair and I bot school and show in them, I should really take care of them better.
  4. Non-Essential Tack
    I buy cheap saddle pads and open front boots and half pads and bits.
  5. Always Make Repairs
    I hate to throw stuff out, so instead I make my mom repair stuff all the time… even if it’s semi-past worth saving.
  6. Sell Old Stuff
    I’m practically a hoarder and could easily outfit a 4-H kid in english and western tack and attire. It’s a sickness, really.
  7. Massages and Chiropractor Visits for Me
    My horse gets them, but I don’t. Ever.

Greed: Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding

  1. My Horse Himself
  2. Prestige Meredith Saddle
  3. Vespucci Bridle
  4. Rambo Blankets
  5. Board at a Nice Facility
  6. Lessons with an Awesome Trainer
  7. Overnight Horse Shows

Gluttony: Seven guilty pleasures or favorite items

  1. Yeah… see the previous question. I pretty much buy the things I covet most. And when I do get them, I love them for a lifetime.

Lust: Seven things you love about horses and riding

  1. Partnership between Horse & Rider
    This is the thing I love the most, and what I missed about not owning a horse of my own.
  2. Meeting Great People
    Almost all of my friends are from the barn and I think our love for horses really brings us closer
  3. A Lifetime Activity
    You can ride from age 5 to age 85… and beyond. I love that this sport will always be in my life
  4. That Feeling After an Awesome Ride
    I never get tired of that amazing feeling when you have an awesome ride… at a show, in a lesson or even just a hack I get a rush after every awesome ride.
  5. Their Power
    Just knowing how powerful horses are, and the fact that they allow us to ride at all is pretty damn special
  6. Their Heart
    My horse tries his heart out for me, and that type of unconditional love doesn’t happen very often
  7. The Smells and Sounds
    Maybe this is weird… but I love the smells and sounds of a barn or a horse show. It just feels like home to me.\

Dreaming of the Beach

As I’ve been daydreaming about spring and summer and all things horse, yesterday I realized that spring also means my wedding date is drawing closer and closer (less than 85 days to go!). And I have to admit, I had a small freak out about my long list of things to do:

  • Print, address and send invitations
  • Put together favors
  • Finish table numbers
  • Buy bridal party gifts
  • Get wedding dress altered
  • Buy jewelry and shoes
  • Finalize ceremony script
  • Pick out ceremony music
  • Write vows
  • Get passport
Okay, so I’m sure there’s stuff in there that I’m missing, but the last item, Get Passport, is what helps keep me going in moments of stress. And while I’d like to tell you everything has been easy and smooth sailing… I’ve certainly succumbed to stress every one in a while. Anyways, a few weeks ago Sam and I booked our honeymoon and we’re going to
(drumroll please)

Aruba! 

At this point in the winter, one whole week on the beach doing nothing but sipping margaritas, laying in the sand, soaking up the sun and listening to the waves sounds like absolute paradise. The hotel we’ve booked has live cameras of the beach. So whenever wedding planning gets me stressed, I pull up that camera and say to myself: in five months that’s where I’ll be!