How to Take Care of Your Horse

Before buying and bringing your new horse at home, be sure that you know some of the basic horse care techniques. Horses are expensive animals and you could not afford to lose one just because you are not able to feed it properly or provide for its needs.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your horse:


Daily feeding is important so that your horse will get the right amount of nutrition it needs. Hay and forage grass serve as staple food for horses. You could also add supplements such as coarse feeds and other concentrates for your horse. From time to time, you could also add succulents to its diet such as apples and carrots. Aside from food, clean water should always be a part of its diet.


Grooming is also part of caring for a horse. Use a curry comb to loosen up dirt and then a stiff brush to remove the dirt from the fur. Include brushing the tail and the mane using a comb. Be sure to do the brushing and combing gently and carefully. As a precaution when combing the tail of your horse, stay on its side and not directly on its back to avoid getting kicked in case your horse reacts badly to what you are doing. Additionally, it is also good to thoroughly wash your horse with a sponge from time to time.

Hoof picking

When picking hooves, do it with a hoof pick and be extra careful in doing it. That V shape in its hoof is very sensitive. If you are not careful, you may hurt your horse slightly or severely, causing abnormalities in its walking.

Living quarters

If your horse stays in a stable, you will have to regularly remove droppings and old beddings. Horses need a clean space to lie down. Horses are easily stressed out when their stalls are dirty and smelly.

Outdoor activities

Part of horse care is taking your horse out to the pasture or corral everyday so it can get enough exercise.

Seasonal care

When riding your horse in the summer, be sure to take more walk breaks to allow your horse to cool off. During winter time, keep your horse warm. Additionally, go easy on the canter.


Just like any animal, horses too can suffer from various diseases. Some diseases may be serious such that early detection and treatment are necessary for its survival. Be extra vigilant in observing your horse’s behavior. If it is not acting the way it used to be, it may not be feeling well. You should contact your veterinarian immediately to have it checked. Moreover, even if your horse seems to be healthy, a regular checkup of at least twice a year will be helpful in detecting diseases that can possibly become life-threatening if not given immediate medical attention.

Horses are an investment. If you like to own one, you must invest money and time to properly care for it. The tips mentioned here are just some of the ways on how you should care for your horse. You will learn more about this subject as you continue to raise your horse.

Horse Riding Basics

Horse riding has been a popular sport for many centuries now. In the olden times, warriors rode on them as they engaged in battles. They later became a popular mode of transportation. Nowadays, horse riding is more popular as a sport or as a hobby. And unlike what many people think, it is not that difficult to ride a horse as long as you know some basic facts.

What to Wear

What you wear can greatly impact your riding experience and safety. You should wear something comfortable to allow free movement. Avoid wearing clothing or unnecessary accessories like bracelets, necklaces, scarves that can easily get caught in a branch of a tree, on the saddle, in the horse’s mane, or other parts of your riding equipment. Additionally, any flashing or reflection from the jewelries that you may be wearing can startle the horse. Clothes that flap around can also scare the horse and cause it to lose its concentration; so avoid wearing them.

The best attire for horse riding is long pants or jeans and a shirt that is tucked into the pants. Your footwear should completely cover your feet to avoid injury and it should have heels to prevent accidental sliding from the stirrups. Boots with heels are preferred since they also protect your shins and ankles.

Greeting the Horse

You do not immediately ride a horse without first introducing yourself. Approach it calmly, gently and in a confident manner. Let the horse smell the back of your palm as a way of greeting it. Be sure to show that you are not scared or nervous as the horse can sense that and could affect its attitude during the ride.

Mounting on the Horse

When properly mounted, you can go a long way while developing trust between you and the animal. If it is your first time to ride, request someone to hold and keep the horse steady while getting on. Also, be sure you are already familiar with the use of the various riding gears including the reins, stirrups, saddle and others. Be sure that you are also mounted comfortably on the stirrups and that your bodyweight is evenly distributed in the middle part of the horse. Hold the reins loosely over the front of the horse. Holding the reins too tightly might confuse the horse and let it think you want to stop.

Walk Your Horse

Many horses are trained to respond to pressure on the rider’s leg. To avoid confusing the horse, keep your legs still unless you are giving a signal to the horse. To let the horse walk, squeeze both of your legs to the side of the horse. If the horse does not respond, give it a gentle kick to the side while you also signal it with a clucking sound. Lean with a straight back on your seat while the horse is walking; lean back when you go downhill and lean forward when you go uphill.

Steer Your Horse

To steer a horse, hold both reins using one hand and pull them to the right if you like the horse to move to the right, or pull them to the left to let the horse go left.

Stopping the Horse

To signal the horse to stop moving, just firmly pull the reins toward you and then say “Whoa.”

Knowing these horse riding basics helps you prepare for a comfortable and enjoyable horse riding activity.

10 Signs of Pregnancy to Watch Out For

Have you ever asked yourself how many weeks am I into pregnancy? I have not personally asked this question, but I have asked this question quite a few times concerning the horses we have in our farm, back when I was still a kid. I got very excited whenever we had a pregnant horse.

But I am mainly writing this article about pregnant women and not about pregnant horses. If you are interested in horse riding, it is important to know whether you are pregnant or not because riding horses when you are pregnant may affect your pregnancy especially during the first and last trimesters. You may want to ride a horse but if you are pregnant, you need to ask your doctor’s permission to do it especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Here are ten common signs of implantation or pregnancy which can help you find out your condition:

1. Tingling and prickling of nipples

These signs of pregnancy are a result of the increased supply of blood in the breast brought about by pregnancy hormones. You may notice these changes even in the earliest part of your pregnancy, sometimes within weeks after conception. The tingling and prickling sensations normally subside when the body becomes used to the hormonal surge.

2. Morning sickness

Some women are lucky not to experience this sign but morning sickness is common in early pregnancy, starting when you are about six weeks pregnant. Morning sickness is associated with nausea or vomiting and feeling sick and queasy. Despite its name, it could affect you even in the evening. This sign could occur within the first trimester and may continue on until your last trimester.

3. Cramping and spotting

During the time when you are supposed to have a period, it is common to experience spotting and stains in your underwear that can be brown or slightly pink in color. You may also feel slight cramping.

4. Swollen and tender breasts

When you are about six weeks into pregnancy, you may also notice your breasts becoming tender to touch. You may also notice your breasts becoming larger and swollen. The tenderness of the breasts normally eases as your pregnancy progresses.


5. Fatigue

During early pregnancy, it is normal to feel easily tired even when you hardly do any work. Aside from fatigue, you may also become moody and emotional.

6. Frequent urination

When you are about six weeks into pregnancy, you may also notice your desire to frequently urinate. And this bathroom visit will become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses.

7. Darker nipples

Darker areolas which are the skin around your nipples are another sign of pregnancy. You may start to notice them at about eight weeks. Your nipples will also become more pronounced and erect.

8. Food cravings

Pregnancy especially during the early stages may also affect your diet. There may be some foods that you used to like but no longer appeal to you, and there may also be foods that you don’t normally eat but are craving for. Your sense of smell may also become more sensitive to certain types of smell, especially from cooking or food.

9. Missed period

If you are regular and your period did not start when it was supposed to start, then it is a sign that you are pregnant.

10. Positive pregnancy test

Of course, the ultimate sign of pregnancy is a positive pregnancy test. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you will be able to confirm your pregnancy by conducting a home pregnancy test.

If you are positively pregnant, you may want to reconsider your plan about riding horses and consult your doctor first about your plan.

5 Common Foot Problems

Many people have had problems with their foot, including myself. At one time, I experienced having a fungal infection on one of my feet and it lingered for several days. Many of you may have also experienced other types of foot problems at one time. And you might admit that foot problems are among the most annoying problems you can have. Depending on the severity, foot problems can even affect your ability to walk and do your daily routine. And if you have a foot problem, I wouldn’t advise you to ride a horse because the feet are critical in horse riding.

Since I mentioned the importance of feet in horse riding, I would like to share some of the most common foot problems and their remedies:

1. Fungal and Bacterial infections

The most common of this type of problem is athlete’s foot. Because our feet are constantly in a dark, warm and humid place inside our shoes, it is a perfect place for fungus to multiply. Fungal and bacterial infections normally cause redness, itchiness, dry skin, blisters and peeling. They can be easily treated if given attention immediately. But once neglected, they can spread to your feet, making it more difficult to treat. To prevent this infection, be sure to keep your feet dry and clean. Wash them thoroughly with mild soap. Change your socks and stocking as often as possible. Also, if you are prone to sweating in the feet, try to dust them with foot powder.

2. Corns and Calluses

These foot problems are a result of the pressure and friction when your feet rub against your footwear. Wearing special pads or footwear that fits better can help you avoid these problems. But if you already have corns or calluses and you want them removed, don’t remove them on your own. Talk to your doctor especially if you have a condition like diabetes.

3. Warts

Warts are caused by viruses. They can be painful and can spread if untreated. Although there are many over-the-counter medications for warts, they rarely ever completely cure a wart. It is best to see your doctor and discuss if surgery, burning or freezing of warts may be necessary.

4. Pain on top of foot

This kind of foot problem can cause a person to have difficulty in walking or even standing up. There are several factors that may cause this foot problem including bone spurs, tendonitis, strain or sprain, improper footwear and others. Pain on top of your foot is not normal and it may also be indicative of a more serious condition. Your best recourse is to see your doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment.

5. Bunions

Bunions are bony growths that develop at the lower base joint of your big toe. This problem normally runs in the family. It may also be caused by wearing footwear that puts too much pressure on the toes such as footwear with pointed toes or high-heeled shoes. One way to avoid or alleviate symptoms of bunions is to wear comfortable footwear. Bunions can be painful and your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers. Surgery may also be needed to repair the joint.

Foot problems can affect your ability to ride a horse. They are not as serious as kidney problems, heart problems or liver pain which needs immediate medical attention. But if not properly treated as early as possible, foot problems can lead to complications that no one likes to have.

Tips to Lose Weight

I have been hearing a lot of women wanting to lose weight. And some men do too. Because of the active lifestyle that I have, I don’t really have much problem when it comes to maintaining my weight. Physical activities plus a healthy diet help me all these years to be physically fit.

I am aware that obesity or being overweight may cause serious health conditions including heart problems, high blood pressure and many others. Aside from that, who wouldn’t like to look attractive? For many women, their main motivation to lose weight is so that they will look and feel good. That is why we often hear of people who undergo a 1000 calorie diet and other sorts of special diet that involves eating low carb vegetables, fruits and others.

But how do you really lose weight? When people ask me how I lose or maintain my weight, I would often say eat healthy and exercise regularly. In my case, I get a lot of exercise in my work. I have researched on this topic so that I can help other people who are trying to lose weight. And here are some good tips about losing weight:

1. Lifestyle changes.

If you like a permanent weight loss, it is not something that you can do overnight by taking a magic tablet or something. Instead, it is about having a commitment to having a healthy lifestyle. There are diet regimens that can help you jumpstart your weight loss program, but permanent lifestyle changes are what will really bring you permanent results.

By lifestyle changes, it means changes for the better. If you are not used to regularly exercise before, you should already include it in your daily or weekly routine. If you are used to eating fatty foods, junk foods and all sorts of foods that are high in fats or useless calories, then you should change your choices of food. You could also refer to a dietician for advice.

2. Have a weight loss companion.

Having someone to cheer you up or to remind you about your diet and exercise routine is a good way to always be on the right track. Your weight loss companion could be your friend, partner, spouse or anyone in your family.

3. Keep your weight loss slow and steady.

There is this saying that slow and steady could win the race. Losing weight too fast may affect your mind and body. You could become unproductive in your job or studies, become drained, sluggish and sickly. Also, when you lose weight too quickly, you are actually losing most of your body fluid and muscle instead of fats. So aim to lose just a few pounds per week rather than tens of pounds.

4. Set a goal.

It would be helpful if you have a goal on how much pounds to lose in a particular week or month and why. Perhaps you like to wear that sexy bikini this summer or impress a person. Your goal will let you get going especially when you are tempted to give up or be lax about losing weight.

5. Monitor your progress.

There are now mobile applications that can help you keep track of your weight loss progress. There are apps that even allow you to schedule your exercises or compute the amount of calories in the food you are about to eat. It would be good to monitor your progress using any available resources so that you will know how much work you need to achieve your goal.

There is a wide range of diet plans that can help you lose weight in no time. But more than these diet plans, losing weight is really about your attitude towards a permanent healthy lifestyle.

Antihistamine: Uses, Side Effects, Safety

Allergy is a common disorder among people and animals. When it comes to dealing with allergies, the first type of remedy that comes to mind is antihistamines, which could be a natural antihistamine found in some types of foods or commercial antihistamines.

Antihistamines are medication that inhibits the function of histamines in the body by blocking the histamine receptors. Symptoms of an allergy are normally triggered by histamines. By blocking the histamine receptors, different types of allergic reactions, fluid in lungs in some cases, can be controlled.

There are three general classifications of antihistamines. They are the first generation antihistamines, the second generation antihistamines and the third generation antihistamines. The first generation antihistamines are known for their many side effects including drowsiness on most patients. The second generation antihistamines, on the other hand, may also cause several side effects but they also do not normally cause drowsiness. The third generation causes the least side effects. Because of the many side effects caused by the first generation antihistamines, most doctors recommend the second and the third generation antihistamines.

Uses of Antihistamines

Antihistamines are merely used to control or alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions and not to cure its underlying cause. Allergic reactions may include:

  • Hay fever
  • Atopic eczema
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Urticarial
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Allergic reactions due to insect stings or bites
  • Allergic reactions caused by food allergies (mild to moderate only)

Aside from treating the symptoms of allergies, antihistamines may also be used for treating certain conditions including insomnia, stomach ulcers and motion sickness.

Side Effects

It is important to note that depending on the type of antihistamine taken, patients may experience certain side effects which include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired thinking
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Urinary retention
  • Nervousness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Fatigue


Before taking antihistamines, it is best to first ask your health care provider if doing so is safe for you or your child especially if having other existing medical conditions. Generally antihistamines are generally safe for most adults with no other health conditions as well as for children who are two years old and above. However, safety precautions are needed in case the patient has:

  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Diabetes
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnant

While most antihistamines can be bought over-the-counter, you should not assume that they are safe for you. Also, even if they are safe for you, you should always consider their side effects before taking one. For instance, if you are scheduled to make a long drive, avoid taking an antihistamine as it can cause drowsiness which would make you prone to road accidents. It is best to take antihistamines when you don’t have any appointment or work that requires you to be fully awake and alert.

Also, do not abuse the use of antihistamines. Take them only when needed and as directed. Overuse and overdose of this medication may cause you to become reliant on their sedating effects.

Finally, before taking antihistamines, take time to read the information leaflet which normally comes with these medications to know their safety information. If you are not sure, seek advice from your doctor.

Skin Tear Management

When not given the proper care, horses are prone to skin conditions such as dandruff, folliculitis and allergies among others. Humans too are as vulnerable to skin conditions. Perhaps, many of us have experienced having unusual skin conditions at one point in our life. It could be a skin allergy, lesions, some pimples or acne on the face or tattoo scabbing if you had a tattoo. Different types of skin problems require different kinds of treatment. However, one of the most challenging skin problems to prevent and treat is a skin tear. Yet, many people most especially older adults are prone to this problem.

Skin tears refer to traumatic wounds resulting from the separation of the two major layers of the skin, which are the epidermis and dermis. Aging is one of the primary factors that make a person susceptible to this condition.

Managing skin tears involves performing a series of steps that must be done with utmost care and using the right instruments. The main goal on managing tears is to protect the surrounding tissue, preserving the skin flaps, and reducing further injury and infection. The general guidelines include:

1. Stop the bleeding (hemostasis).

Once a person gets a tear in the skin, the first step is to control the bleeding.

  • Apply pressure on the affected area. Elevate the limb, if applicable or possible.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the wound using water or saline to remove any debris and residual hematoma.
  • Carefully and gently dry the surrounding skin using a clean soft towel.

2. Manage the skin flap.

  • Check if the skin flap is still viable. If it is, carefully flap it back into place using a pair of tweezers, dampened cotton or gloved finger.
  • If the flap is already difficult to align, you could rehydrate it using a moist non-woven swab every five to 10 minutes.
  • If needed, you could apply a skin barrier product to protect the skin around the wound.

3. Apply the dressing.

A wide range of dressing can be used for skin tears. This includes calcium alginates which can help in the bleeding. Silicone dressing can be useful to secure the flaps. There is also fiber or foam dressing which is applicable for exudate management. Exudate refers to fluids that seep out of the blood vessels. To control infection, there are also antimicrobial dressings available. However, avoid using adhesive dressings as they can be difficult to remove and may cause further injury to the skin.

Once an appropriate dressing has been selected, apply it on the affected area and then you could use tissue glues for securing the flap. Because of the fragility of the skin, staples and sutures are not recommended. Leave the dressing for several days to allow the flap to recover. In case an opaque dressing has been used, it is recommended to make an arrow marking to indicate the preferred direction in which the dressing must be removed.

4. Change the Dressing.

When it is time to change the dressing, be gentle in lifting and removing it. Removal should be done away from the still-attached skin flap. If an arrow is indicated, follow the direction of the arrow when removing the dressing. There are also silicone-based adhesive removers as well as saline soaks that can aid in easy removal.

After removing the dressing, clean the wound but be careful not to damage the skin flap.

5. Monitor the progress of the wound.

Observe the progress of the wound especially in the first 48 hours. Look for signs of infection, swelling or increased pain. See your doctor if there is no improvement after 48 hours and when signs of infections are noticed.

A basic knowledge on how to manage skin tears is very helpful, not only to manage your own tears but also to help other people who may have it.

Childhood on the Road

I remember the times when I was growing up that we had to go to many places to do our horse riding business. It was all very fun for me and very grueling too at the same time. I would never forget all that I had gone through during those times and you could safely say that the experience molded me to become the man that I am today.

Traveling to other places and meeting all kinds of people is one happy affair that I look forward to during the year. I know that there would be more trips than I can count with my hands each season and I relish the fact that my horizon gets broader and broader with every trip that we make.

Going to other places is not very hectic as we have a camper to help us with it and it sort of like became my second home away from home. The only things that get to me on a trip are the vast emptiness in between cities where you can see nothing except sand and the occasional tumbleweed, and when we are certain to pass through them, I sleep.

Mom and dad are in the front during trips and I was by myself at the back where everything is at. My toys, the TV set, the bed, and everything I could eat in the refrigerator were at an arm’s reach from where I am. I do get bored sometimes and I used to go over to where my parents are and bug them some.

Out of town trips are a regular occurrence in our household that we are always ready to go at a moment’s notice. Each of our best lightweight luggage are easily packed and also other basic amenities needed during our trips like toiletries, food, tools, and what have you. The nice thing about it is that I get to choose which snacks we were to buy at the grocery to bring with us.

And of course, we can’t go on any trip without bringing with us several pieces of mom’s best yoga DVD collection which she would listen to while traveling. She says it soothes her nerves and makes her calm during our trips. Come to think of it, mom is all smiles every time I see her in front and I think the yoga hymns has got a lot to do with it.

My favorite part of every trip are the ones where we were about to go home as I could get to see my friends again. They would again be amazed at all the stories I tell them about what we did and all the places we have been to. We take side trips all the time and I think we spent more time having fun than working, which was always the envy of my friends.

I miss having trips with mom and dad, and I wish we could do it again sometime. The three of us on the road certainly brings back fond memories of my childhood. I would certainly do it over again if I could.

Brotherly Love

Well it has been a very tiresome day for me as my sister asked me to accompany her to the supermarket to buy some things. I had an inkling of what would happen to me if I agreed but I went nonetheless. Call it brotherly love or something, but I know it was a mistake accompanying a woman to do some shopping. Well let’s just say I paid for it both literally and figuratively.

She said she had to buy a new playpen for her little one as the old one gave up on the kid a couple of days ago. I had told her to not buy the thing as it was an unknown brand and it looks very flimsy, especially for my very cute nephew who was a little bit, a lot really, on the heavy side.

She told me that she left her child alone in the thing for a couple of minutes to go and get some water and the next thing she knew, my nephew is at her back, tugging at her skirt. Turns out the jumping that my nephew did, he always loved to jump, was enough to totally rip the underside of the playpen and it was there where he made his “escape”.

Fast forward to today and there we were, looking for the best pack n play available, to which she said that the price really does not matter as long as it was not like the last one. I knew it, I was paying for this! But there was a little problem. The brand that we searched for has many models to choose from and my sister said that she liked them all.

So naturally, like all women are won’t to do when shopping, we went back and forth, back and forth, to each and every last one of the different models. We even managed to squeeze some time to look at the other brands but we came back to the first ones after some time.

Thankfully and at last, she finally chose the blue one because she said that the child using it is a boy. Now why didn’t we think of that before?!? It was apparently also the one that she pointed to at the start. I am really starting to think that women view shopping as a sport of some kind and that they find unbounded happiness in the hunt.

Anyways, I was very glad that it was over with and I congratulated myself silently for the feat. But relief seemed to have escaped quickly when she said that she still had to buy the best travel tripod( for her to bring to their upcoming family vacation which is just a week away.

My heart sank when I looked at the camera department and saw many different kinds of tripods for every type of use imaginable. There were many brands exhibited and each and every model available in different colors, a woman shopper’s dream come true.

I asked if her camera was a boy or a girl and she just smiled. I got home eventually.

Getting There

I did not know that I would be enjoying the new venture that Clark offered me a month ago. For now, I have been working on it the whole weekend. Clark was right about the hard part, but it is fulfilling and satisfying at the same time. It also gave me other routine in my life, so it is good. We were successful with breeding poodles and now, we are planning to take on the Husky Pomeranian mix, most people know them by the name of Pomsky, because there were a number of people who were asking if we also breed them. We told them that we would try, but no promises. We asked them to leave us their contact numbers and we would call them as soon as possible about the updates about our breeding.

I told my girlfriend, Margaret, about our plans and she was thrilled about it. She told me that she also wants to have such breed, but she did not know anyone from town who breeds them. She added that she has a number of friends who also wanted the same breed. She told me that she could tell them about my new business and I thanked her. I promised her that if our breeding will be successful, I would give her one Pomsky. She hugged and she made me pink swear. I found it funny and adorable, so I just did it anyway. She told me that she wants a female Pomsky and I nodded.

I called Clark and told him that most of Margaret’s friends also wanted some Pomskies, so we should get started. He told me that he already ordered two pomskies from his supplier and it will arrive before this weekend. I also told him about my other plans like to market his pet shop on various social media sites like Google+, Facebook, Instagram and even blog sites like WordPress and Blogspot. He was thrilled with my idea. He added that we could have discounts and reservations online for more customers. I told him that I already asked a friend of mine who is good with Adobe Photoshop to make us some templates so we could just edit it ourselves whenever we have other promotions. He asked me if it is still wise to give out flyers around the block. I told him that it is still a good idea because not all people read their social media news feeds anyway. It is a good ploy to go malls, parking lots and even events where there are a lot of people.

After a month of improving our marketing strategies, we experienced more foot traffic than ever before, thanks to the changes that we made that is vital for the success of our business. We tripled our sales, especially with dogs. We even had waiting lists on reservations online for the pomskies and poodles even though the birthing of the dogs are still a few months away.

We still have a long way to go, but we are getting there. I thank Clark and my beautiful girlfriend, Margaret for always supporting me about the things that I want to do, no matter how silly it is.

How to take care of Hedgehogs

I have been taking care of my horses for years now and I could say that I know anything about them from head to toe. My girlfriend recently just gave me two hedgehogs as pets. The thought on my mind was if she was really serious in giving me that because I’m used to taking care of big pets like horses. I didn’t want to get her upset with me so I asked around and read articles about how to care for them because I didn’t have any idea to do so.

My information search led me to a local pet shop which reportedly specializes with hedgehogs, mice, hamsters and bunnies. I entered the shop as I saw many kinds of animals. I even saw hedgehog cages on sale. I asked the salesman if he may point me in the right direction as my girlfriend gave me hedgehogs that I didn’t have a clue on how to take care of it. The salesman told me that his boss, the owner is better to teach me all about it. He asked me to wait for a while as he will check if he wasn’t busy. After a few minutes, a man walked towards me. He was short, has a full beard and was wearing a simple shirt and denim pants. He seemed friendly as he introduced himself as Clark while shaking my hand. I told him my concerns and was so glad that I came to his shop. I also told him that my girlfriend might have bought the hedgehogs here in the shop because her house is just a few blocks away.

Clark shared that taking care of hedgehogs is easy and it’s just taking care of animals like hamsters and bunnies. He explained that hedgehogs have soft, furry bellies and a coat of rough quills on their back. They just roll up into a ball if they are frightened of threatened. He also shared that hedgehogs doesn’t really bite, but they can if such need arises. He added that they basically eat insects but can be also fed with cooked peas, cooked carrots, cooked squash, cooked sweet potato, unseasoned meat, poultry and fish, banana, cranberries, grape pieces, kiwi, watermelon, pear, apple slices, strawberry, hard boiled eggs, baby food, cottage cheese, and even yogurt. They also need fresh water every day. Just be reminded not to overfeed them because they are prone to obesity.

Hedgehogs are normally active and playful and to address this, an exercise wheel in his hedgehog cage is needed. It will also help him control his weight and avoid obesity. You can also just give him hard plastic balls and paper towel rolls as his toys because they love to chew and push things. Regular check up may also be needed as they can be infected with mites that burrow into their skin at the base of their spines. Sometimes, they may also suffer diarrhea so keep it mind to avoid dehydration when it occurs and bring him to a veterinarian for treatment.


Margaret called and asked me for a favor to take care of her niece for a few hours because her babysitter cancelled on her the last minute. I did not have a choice, so I just agreed. I asked her about what activities would she enjoy because I do not have any idea about taking care of kids. She told me that I do not need to worry because she is going to bring her coloring pages to get her busy for hours. I was a bit worried and she told me that I do not need to be that concerned, because she is fun to take care of and she is a good, little girl like her. I laughed at her and told her that was not comforting.

They arrived in an hour and I saw a cute, little girl with my girlfriend. I asked her name is and she told me that she is Mary Anne. She is so adorable that she offered her hand for me to shake with and I told her that it is nice to meet her. Margaret gave me her backpack full of activities to do. She told me that she has also snacks in her bag, so I should just let her get them because she does not like it when people chooses for her. She is independent like that and I love it. We went inside my room and my girlfriend bade goodbye to her niece and told her to behave well.

I asked Mary Anne about what she wanted to do and she told me that she brought crayons and coloring pages. She showed me her books and it said, Disney’s Frozen coloring pages and Skylanders coloring pages. She shared that she already watched Disney’s Frozen for eight times and she still haven’t gotten tired of it, while she told me that she always watches Skylanders on Youtube. I told her that we could watch the Frozen DVD later if she wants to. She asked me that reason about why do I have a copy and I told her that someone gave it to me as a gift. She laughed and told me that they are just for kids. I told her that I am still a kid at heart and we laughed about it. She started coloring and she saw me staring at her. She asked me if I want to color and then she offered me a book. I told her that I could, if she wanted me to help her and I did. It took us hours to complete her books and then I got my copy of the movie and played it on the living room TV. She was so happy that I was there the whole time and watched the movie with her because she told me that her Aunt Margaret does not like watching them. I saw Margaret approaching us into the living room. I told Mary Anne that her aunt is that old and here she is and we all cracked about it.

Overcoming Fears

As you all know, I’m very fond of horses, even when I was young as my Dad introduced me to it at such an age. It was really a trial and error as I was so scared of heights and my dad really did his best to help me overcome my fear. Every weekend, my dad would train me on how to get on the saddle carefully and teach me how to properly direct the horse on which direction that I wanted. It was a really fun experience for a young kid, which was definitely different with what my childhood friends were doing back then. Day after day, I overcame my fear of heights and horse riding as fun and excitement overwhelmed my fear.

I remember when I tried getting myself on a horse for the first time by myself and I had an accident. My grip slipped off the saddle and had my face down straight on the dirt. I had a few bruises and scratches. People were so worried about me back then because they saw me bloodied as I lost a tooth. I was in tears not because of my scratches and my fall but because I had gum pain. I knew my parents were mad at me for not having an adult to accompany me as they used to tell me when I try riding a horse but they still comforted me and told me that they will bring me to a dentist. I was scared with dentists but they didn’t give me any choice.

tooth pain relief

We got into our car and it took us just 5 minutes to go to the clinic. My parents went inside the clinic to talk to the dentist and told her what happened. Dr. Williamson is the most popular dentist in our town because she is good on what she do and she was also very beautiful. She made me sit on the dental chair and asked me to gargle first. She then turned on the light and asked me to say Aaahhh. She carefully examined my gums and teeth and told my parents that my tooth got pulled out cleanly and besides some pain and swelling, I’m good. She also added that she will just give me tooth pain relief on a syrup form to be taken three times a day after meals. She told me that I have to continue taking it until the pain and the swelling wears out. It was really a relief that I wasn’t going to be injected with anesthetics and have a tooth extracted.

It was a lesson learned as I didn’t try riding a horse by myself again when I was young because I was just a beginner back then. I am very fortunate to have very loving and understanding parents who always support me on whatever I want to do, especially my dad who helped me go and overcome a fear the eventually led to be my passion and work at the same time.

New Horizons Coming my Way

Clark called me about his new stock of dog breeds in his pet shop a while ago. He also mentioned that besides on running his own business, he is also trying to venture into a new field, which is breeding dogs. He shared that it is going to be a lot of work, so he is asking me if I could lend him a hand. He also told me that if we are successful, I could also earn as much as he earns. He added that he just needs my expertise and passion about animals and I do not need to put out money for his new venture. I told him that I would think about it because I still need to assess if I could still make time for it, as I am already busy with training horses during weekdays. He told me that he understood. He also added that he just wanted to tell me first because he knows that if anyone should be his partner, it should be me because we share the same passion and drive. I told him that whatever my decision is, I would drop by his pet shop the next day and I would tell him my decision personally. He thanked me and he reminded me to think it through because it is a sweet deal for both of us.

I told my girlfriend about Clark’s offer and she was excited about it. I told her that I still have not accepted the offer because I have qualms about it. She asked me what about my qualms and I told her that I do not know if I actually can make time for it. She told me that I have weekends off and I could give him a full day of work. It actually made sense. I also thought that I could always do some work after training horses because my day ends at 3-4pm.

poodle mixes

The next day, I visited Clark in his pet shop and I told him about the good news. He was so happy with my decision. He added that I would not be sorry because I made the right choice. We sat and made plans for hours. We studied the customer’s frequent orders and we found out that most people in the area wanted poodle mixes, especially the Bichon poodle hybrid so we are going to start breeding them as starters. I told him that I have not had any experiences with breeding dogs, but I had plenty about breeding and taking care of horses. He told me that I could learn on our everyday experiences and I agreed. He told me that we should get a good pedigree of such breed so we could have a better mark up on our sales. I agreed and I told him that I would ask our horse suppliers if they know anyone who supplies such breeds. He applauded my plan and told me that he is excited about our partnership.

Answered Prayers

My best friend and co-trainer Betsy has been married for four years now. Betsy and her husband Rick have been planning for a long time to make a big family but they were always unsuccessful. They have tried many so many methods, some proven and some were just made up, but they just did it anyway because they were so desperate to have a child. They both even took a sterility test to determine if it was anyone’s fault but the results said that they are capable to make babies.

Betsy is really stressed about it because it has been causing a rift in their marriage. She even takes absences on our training school just to mope alone in her house. This week, she was absent for 3 consecutive days and it made me feel sad that it their problem is causing her much pain and maybe even depression. I decided to take a day off and give her a visit. She really looked like a mess. I asked her if she was okay and tears started to well up from her eyes. I just listened to help her vent out her frustrations and anger. I also told her that since they weren’t sterile, maybe it’s just not still time, maybe God is testing them. I added that I am not a really a spiritual guy, but I believe that there’s a higher power above us all who gives all these challenges to test our faith, will, and our desire to get our dreams. I advised her to just be more patient and it will all come her way in God’s time. She was so touched with what I said and calmed down. I spent my whole day off with her as we reminisced about our good times together. As I waved goodbye, she thanked me and said that she will try praying. After a few months of constantly praying and trying to get pregnant, she eventually got an answered prayer. She told me that she was having morning sickness and vomiting.

how to stop breastfeeding

Betsy shared that they planned to get into a seminar about having babies because they were clueless, but excited about it. They attended a seminar in a community center and learned bunch of things like the three trimesters and what to expect, how to prepare for pregnancy and delivery, how to compute for due dates and the most important, proper baby care. The lecturer encouraged us to ask some questions so people asked about the foods to avoid while breastfeeding. We were told that caffeine and alcoholic drinks should be really avoided as they can be transferred to the mom’s milk and may disrupt the baby’s normal sleep patterns which are really essential for the baby’s growth. She, on the other hand, asked about how to stop breastfeeding because she has a friend who had a hard time stopping it. The lecturer addressed it as it was going to be an emotional parting because it is a bond that moms and the baby have. It is needed to be done on a gradual basis as not to surprise the baby about it. She added that moms can alternate breast milk and formula milk to help the process of stopping gradually.

I just can’t imagine the joy of Rick and Betsy right now. I wish both of them the best and may they be the best parents that they can be. I hope that their child grows strong, healthy and smart.