Welcome Polatito!

Welcome Polatito!

We are thrilled to welcome our newest member of our Equine Herd, a Mexican Sporthorse Warmblood, Polatito.

Polo is just six years old, and comes to us from Virginia.   We are so excited to see how Polo does this year in the Jumper Ring!

Need Barn Cats?  Save some lives in the process!

Need Barn Cats? Save some lives in the process!

Need Barn Cats? Now taking reservations for a spring transfer!

Three Leaf Farm is teaming up with Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats to bring you barn cats in this lifesaving mission.

Most of you know of the benefits of having barn cats to keep the rodent population in check, and you have probably seen the special relationships cats have with horses. However,  in Colorado access to barn cats from our local shelters is rather difficult due to the seasonal breeding of the stray cats in our climate.

Meanwhile, in places like California, there’s an abundance of stray cats with a kitten season that lasts year round.   In Los Angeles the problem of feral cats is even more dire – any feral cat that ends up in a L.A. city shelter is marked for death within days.

Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, is a Los Angeles based feral cat rescue with California’s only 100% feral cat socialization facility and programs.  This year they launched their  “Working Cat” program that provides the only way out for the feral cats caught up in the city shelter system.

When Kitty Bungalow Founder and Headmistress was out in Boulder on a visit, the conversation turned to barn cats.  Upon discovering a need for more barn cats in Colorado, speaking with our local shelters, and knowing the  need for more homes for the death row cats of LA, the idea of the BCHA and Kitty Bungalow Working Cat program was born.

Imagine the delight of these street born city cats who thought their fates were sealed in a cold steel cage of a shelter when they find themselves breathing the fresh, pure Colorado air.

JUST THE FACTS:

  •  Cats are fixed, vaccinated and flea treated.
  • Working cats are employed in a minimum team of three.
  • Cats remain in an enclosure for approximately 3 weeks while acclimating to their new environment.
  • Our transfer team will help you through transition period to allow for the most successful outcome.
  • Cats need to continue to be fed, provided fresh water and shelter.  A happy worker is an enthusiastic worker.
  • Just the pheromones of your working cats will have rodents on the run.

This natural, age-old holistic approach to nuisance abatement will not only provide great pest control, the program provides you karma points as your new hire will be saving a life!

MORE INFO:

http://www.kittybungalow.org/working-cat

EMAIL

Kittybungalow@gmail.com

Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Soup

Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Soup

Ingredients:

8-10 medium sized fresh tomatoes (chopped)
½ onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup fresh basil (chopped)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half/half cream
1 teaspoon Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic until lightly brown.
Add  the tomatoes, basil, butter, salt/pepper and chicken broth.
Mix well and let it simmer on low/medium for about 45 minutes.

Pull pot off the stove, add cream, and blend the tomato mixture with a stick blender or blender until smooth.
Sprinkle top with freshly chopped basil and parmesan, (optional)
Serve and Enjoy!

Fall 2016

Our Medicine Trail showed vast improvement and recovery this summer from the damage of the floods in 2013.  Three years have passed, and we are just now being able to see this kind of recovery, but it has been fascinating to see the way Mother Nature heals.

Many of the seeds we planted with the help of our generous grant from The United Plant Savers grew into healthy, viable specimens.  The yarrow seems to have repopulated the area, and we were able to harvest a good amount of St. John’s Wort and Valerian.   Our Echinacea and calendula finally took hold, and we got good size areas of healthy growth. Our comfrey is now established, as are our reseeding areas of California poppy and

But even more interesting than the areas that we consciously reseeded are the plants that mother nature gifted to us.  New stands of goldenrod finally rebounded after being so damaged by the flood.  Pockets of Vervain can be found all along the medicine trail, as well as burdock, Wild licorice, Soapwort and Catnip.  A newly discovered wild Hops vine grows abundantly, and we have found as well three healthy Hawthorn trees/shrubs.

We welcome visitors to the Medicine Trail!  Just give us a shout if you’d like to schedule a private Medicine Herb Walk.

5 Natural Products to use in the Barn

5 Natural Products to use in the Barn

By Sara Stewart Martinelli

This post was originally posted on the blog of the Boulder County Horse Association

Many of us are searching for ways to increase the use of natural products in our lives. Sometimes we forget that some of the simplest and most basic household products offer a wide range of uses in our favorite sanctuary: The Barn.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful things to stash in the barn and can be used for a multitude of purposes. Horses also seem to love the taste, though some take a little longer to embrace it. It’s high in potassium and minerals, so adding a little to feed or water is beneficial and offers a nutritional boost. When added to water it also destroys harmful bacteria, and can help improve the flavor of the water, enticing your horse to drink more. Internally, it helps to improve digestive function.   Externally, it can be used on all kinds of skin conditions, including scurf and dry patches. It will neutralize bacteria on the skin and coat and will bring out the natural shine of your horse’s coat.   It can also be used as a natural fly spay. (Try infusing it with one of the herbs in the section below). On the hoof, it can help prevent and minimize thrush.

How to use it: the recommended dosage is about 1 cup in a 50-gallon water tank, or about ¼ cup in feed a day. For skin and coat conditions, dilute the vinegar in a ratio of 1:1 with water and apply directly to the affected area.

Flax Seed
Flax seed is high in omega 3 oils, which is one of the few vegetable sources of this essential fatty acid that cannot be synthesized in the body. Adding flax to your horse’s diet can improve a wide range of health issues, including reducing inflammation in joints and connective tissues, skin, coat and hoof issues, general stamina, condition, and athleticism, and reducing excitability.

It’s believed that it can improve the recovery time from injury or exercises by allowing faster removal of toxic metabolites. Flax helps to regulate thyroid function and is highly nutritive. It is high in mucilage and soluble fiber, so it helps to hydrate the digestive tract and can help to prevent impaction colic. Essential fatty acids have been shown to improve respiratory conditions and help to fortify the skin, coat, and hooves

Many sources will tell you that you need to freshly grind flax seeds daily to ensure freshness and complete absorption. However, research done shows that although some seeds are still seen in manure when fed whole, the majority of them are completely used in the digestive tract.  New manufacturing methods now offer flax that is ground in a way to reduce its propensity to go rancid, and it can be purchased in bulk livestock grade to reduce cost.

How to use it? Flax should be gradually introduced into the horse’s diet over the course of a week or two, allowing the digestive tract to adapt to the newly added fat. Start with about ¼ cup per feeding, and gradually increase this over a two-week period until you are feeding up to ½ cup per feeding (maximum 1 cup per day). Check with your veterinarian for accurate amounts to feed and to ensure that flax is suitable for your horse.

Herbs for Fly Control

There are a number of herbs and flowers that can be planted around the barn to help keep flies to a minimum. Lavender (Lavendula ssp), Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Catnip (Nepeta cataria), Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Marigolds (Tagetes ssp) are just some of the plants that can be used to provide both beauty and insect control. In addition to planting them near the barn and pastures, cuttings of these can be cut, tied together, and hung throughout the barn as attractive fly repellents. (Keep out of reach of horses, though. The horses will eat them, and although not toxic, if they eat the bundles, then you won’t be able to repel flies!)  Dried, powdered herbs can be sprinkled in the stalls to help control flies and mosquitos.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great option for all the scents and odors that happen in the barn. Use it as a natural stall deodorizer by sprinkling on the ground lightly when you muck. For added power, include some dried, powdered herbs from the section above for both scent and fly control.

Baking soda can also be made into a paste with a little water to use as cleaner for stall doors, walls, and feeders, as well as metal horse bits. To clean grooming tools, add 1 cup of baking soda in a bucket of water, and soak your tools overnight. Rinse well in the morning. Baking soda can also be used to deodorize horse blankets in the laundry. Add about a cup to the laundry water.   An open box of baking soda can be placed in tack trunks to keep away odors.

Finally, a little paste made of baking soda is a great remedy for bugs bites for both horses and humans, and will help with both itching and inflammation.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been shown to be safe for use for horses both internally and externally.   Coconut oil has many benefits and is a perfect thing to be kept in the barn for everyday use. It has many antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, so it’s a great, quick salve for minor scrapes and bites.   It can be used directly on the mane and tail to provide deep conditioning (although avoid use right before needing to braid, it can make the hair so silky that the braids don’t stick). Use coconut oil as a hoof conditioner too – you can rub it directly on the hooves to moisturize dry, cracked hooves. Dry skin patches can be treated with coconut oil, and it can be useful in cases of rain rot as well as bacterial or fungal infections on the skin. Internally, coconut oil is an energy dense supplement and are believed to provide energy without affecting behavior. It can be used to support immune function and regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism. It may help to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, and many horses like the taste so it entices them to eat.

How to use it: if you choose to add coconut oil to your horses feed ration, start small. Mix ¼ cup into their grain, and gradually increase to ½ cup per day over a week or so.   Coconut oil tends to be very stable at room temperature, so unlike flax, it will resist going rancid for several months. There are also commercially made, powdered coconut oil supplements available for horses too. Remember, check with your veterinarian before adding any supplement to your horse’s diet.

 

Additional References:

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bariraci Levy, Faber and Faber, Inc., London, 1952

Complete Holistic Care and Healing for Horses, by Mary L. Brennan, DVM, Trafalgar Square Publishing, Vermont, 2001

A Healthy Horse the Natural Way: A Horse Owner’s Guide to Using Herbs, Massage, Homeopathy, and Other Natural Therapies by Catherine Bird, The Lyons Press, 2002

Horse Care: Natural and Herbal Remedies for Horses by Dr. A Nyland, 2015

A Modern Horse Herbal by Hillary Page Self, Kenilworth Press, 2004