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Ranch & Farm Life

Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time

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If you’re still looking for a read that will make you feel there is hope on earth for all of mankind, I strongly suggest you pick up Esther The Wonder Pig.

Now, if you’re like me, you’ll ask, “Why would I want to read a book about a pig?”

But you need to trust me on this (and if you don’t trust me, trust the 800+ five-star reviews on Amazon).

This is a true life tale of two unsuspecting men who adopted what they believed to be a “micro-pig” but ended up turning into a 600-lb sow.

When Esther reached 600 lbs, Steve and Derek realized they needed more property to raise her. Rather than sending her off to a farm, the men made another big decision to buy a farm. 

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Disaster preparedness with pets

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September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included.

Wildfires, floods, hurricanes, even tornadoes are all times you may need to evacuate your entire household.

The most important thing you can do for your family is prepare them ahead of time, and this includes dogs, cats, horses and poultry.

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Teaching Children to Approach Horses

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I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, a very young child somehow made it underneath the stomach of my blind horse.

I can't begin to express the danger that a 1,300 lb animal presents to a 30 lb child - especially one who can't see the child!  I am grateful that my hooved partner is so responsive to what I say and stood firmly. If not, this child could have easily been killed.  I can't imagine what could have happened had my horse been a younger or more reactive animal.

Allowing your child to run up to an unknown animal, or approaching one yourself, can be very dangerous. 

It doesn't matter how well-trained or well-behaved an animal is, approaching them blindly is dangerous. By not teaching proper etiquette, a child's, an animal's, the handler's, and possibly your own life may be at risk.  Don’t risk yourself or your children.

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Can I Come Over and Ride Your Horse?

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There’s a split second of time that exists after every horse owner meets someone new, or is getting to know someone better, that they dread. It’s that second after you mention you have horses and the person’s eyes light up like a princess-obsessed pre-schooler who just learned she’s going to Disneyland.

“You have a horse?!? OH MY GOSH! I rode one at camp/took lessons/rode on a trip once. I LOVED it! Can I (or my kids) come over and ride your horse or can I (or my toddler) come over and pet your horse?”

This happens to me every single time the horses come up in conversation. It’s as common for me as saying “I’m married”(which is inevitably followed by the reply of, “Oh my gosh! Are you Pregnant? Do you have kids? How many kids do you have?”).

I understand people’s desire to bond over commonalities but the question strikes fear into the heart of horse owners, just as much as questions about kids have the potential to upset folks who are having infertility issues or just, gosh darn it, just don’t want kids of their own. It’s a perilous ground you have to tread when answering the question...

Photo by Josh Engroff

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