About Bethany

Bethany Martin is an artist, teacher and horse lover. She lives with her three horses, Cole', Mint, and Countess. Who inspire her and others.

Cole’ – I got to keep my friend

In 2004 more than 50 almost grape-sized hives covered my only horse. She scratched each new lump until they all bled. I tried bug sprays, fly sheets, and itch creams. Nothing gave her relief. The vet’s advice was, “try steroids, they might work for one season. Then sell her up north where the bugs aren’t so bad.”
While I was trying to decide what to do I ran across my first natural horse care information. Desperate for something to let me keep my friend I tried it. Overnight my mare went from scratching her skin off to being comfortable. Two days later the welts were smaller than peas. It worked year after year and I got to keep my friend!
As she got older she got stiff with a mild lameness in her front feet. I tried natural trimming, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. Still I never knew which days she would be lame, sound, or ‘off.’
Two weeks after starting her first personalized program she led my herd up to be fed, trotting freely for the first time in years. Her coat, which had never been bad, blossomed into a slick, glossy, healthy sheen.

The preimum package, which Cole’ is on, can be found here.

Treats

Treats are a hot button topic in a lot of places. The usual arguments against them is, “Feeding treats teaches a horse to bite” or “Horses can mistake fingers for carrots.” I have not found these to be true if done properly.

I have 5 horses, at the moment, all of which have been taught to politely take treats. None of them nip or bite and all of them can tell the difference between fingers and treats. I teach every equine which comes through my place to politely and respectfully take a treat because someday they will meet someone with a treat and I want everyone to be safe especially if the “someone” is a child with a chubby fist full of grass.

I believe treats have a place as long as they are given with intentionality and parameters just like every other interaction.

My parameters are:

  • Whether or not I have a treat my horse will remain polite and out of my space.
  • A treat in my hand remains my treat until I open my hand in front of me.
  • If my hand feels in danger of being eaten I can withdraw it to safety, close my hand and not be invaded. I will repeat this until the horse tries more gently.
  • Treats are small (the size of 1-8 peas). Horses who have to search for the treat on the hand quickly learn treats come from hands, but hands are not treats.
  • I start horses with treats they like but don’t flip out over (hay pellets, a piece of uncooked pasta spiral, dried organic orange peel, etc)
  • All treats are earned, even if I’m really out there to get rid of leftover apple slices. A new shy horse in my heard may receive treats for coming within arm’s reach. Horses who know more have to do more. Even if it’s one step they have to do something.
  • Backing is a good activity for treat earning and keeps me safe.
  • If I don’t have a treat, but am offering my hand to sniff I offer the back of my hand. They quickly learn the difference.

If I had a horse who learned to be so pushy around treats I didn’t feel safe I would start re-training them on the other side of a solid fence. I would avoid electric fences that were on. (I have a horse who had a few bad experiences with other people reaching over our electric fence and shocking her)

Mint

“Would you like a horse? He’s yours if you can put him in a trailer.” I had one horse. A second one would be easy to put a bit of training on and I could sell him. When I got there the “horse” was a 14-month-old stud colt who had spent the last 6 months in a 10′ x 15′ pen attached to an old chicken coop filled with old wire cages and junk. He learned to push people around scaring his family until they stopped feeding him. His ribs looked like a washboard and his flanks were sunken. His appaloosa blood showed through his rat mane and tail. I went home immediately and brought him a couple flakes of hay. His flanks appeared less sunken after his meal. 
Three days later Mint joined my heard. Days turned into months and months turned into years. The little guy turned out to be afraid of everything. Teaching him was easier said than done. Ten steps of progress one day might only go nine steps back overnight. Sometimes he was worse than the day before. 
After trying a long list of things I finally stumbled upon an essential oil blend which helped him focus. As long as he received a drop every day or so he was trainable. His training went slowly, but nothing helped his pitiful rat tail.
A couple of months after starting his customized supplement plan Mint was in saddle training. He now remembers everything from day to day. He’s confident and with his new supplements I have hope he will grow a tail.
The preimum package he is on is  avaliable here.

Merry Christmas

Luke 2 (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wish List

Are you looking to get us something for Christmas? Look no further.

Check out the horse’s full Amazon wish list here.

Tractor Supply gift cards are ALWAYS welcome.

I have followed Fergus faithfully on Facebook for years. He’s drawn and written with humor and a deep understanding of horses. This is his first book.

Any brick or good flat rock CAN do this, but people are more likely not to throw away your bright yellow piece of plastic.

I have lost more good rocks and chunks of wood because they didn’t look like part of my trailer equipment.

I recently had a custom table built for my feed room. Five of these will fit neatly on the new shelf and hold enough to feed each horse for two weeks.

These will go on the bottom shelf to hold tack and any overflow feed.

Winter, also known as ‘the season of hay’ and ‘the great itching’ is coming. We are still feeding the round bales baled from our back pasture, but when we run out or travel my talented horses have figured out how to eat the shorter stems common in square bales without slowdown from 2″ hole nets. This 1″ hole net will slow them down to a natural grazing rate.

Having never had a horse advertised as their actual height. I would like to know once and for all the answer to “How tall is that horse?”

These cups will nicely fit my non-standard-width jump uprights

To buy them something, check out the horse’s Amazon wish list here.

The Season of Giving

This year I am donating either 2 Starter Packages or 1 Premium Starter Package to Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue.

Blaze’s is Oklahoma’s state-wide rescue which works with local law enforcement when equines are involved to give the equines a safe place to live while they recover. Since December 2001, they have rescued 1,290 horses. 1,054 of those have been adopted. More about their role in rescuing abused horses can be found here.

To support Blaze’s this year if you mention Blaze’s in the comments when you buy here Blaze’s will receive a donation of 10% of whatever you buy.

Give the Gift of Health

Looking for gifts for yourself or horse people in your life? Here are the most gifted Two Leaves products

Gift Certificates In denominations of $50, $100, $250 and $500 allow the recipient to receive the perfect gift.

The Be Prepared Package at $130 has

Kolic, at only $40 (included in the Be Prepared package) is the cheapest peace of mind you can buy for those sleepless nights waiting on the vet with a colicky horse.

Whether you are buying for humans, horses, or dogs Peace and Calming II (included in the Be Prepared package) releases stress and uplifts the spirits both in emergencies and around the holidays. At $26 it is well worth having one for the barn and one for the house.

Give Thanks

In keeping with the season and in no particular order:

I’m thankful for my Two Leaves Health business. I know this sounds self serving to put my business on here, but I’m thankful not only for the income it brings. My horses are healthier than they have ever been. I have a better handle on my own health. Horses who come in for rehab are recovering quicker. My friends and family know an evaluation is a good place to start on those little niggling problems they know are there, but can’t put a finger on.

I’m thankful for my horses. All are in good health and getting better. I manage a herd of amazing, smart, and talented equines.

I’m thankful for my family who may or may not understand everything I set out to do, but support me unconditionally.

I’m thankful for students who love and care for horses. The future of horses is safe in their hands. I watch them rise to the occasion over and over. This year I have been surprised at the intelligence, resilience, savvy, and understanding of my students as they embody the qualities of horsemen and horsewomen.

I’m thankful for friends who don’t let me fade out of touch and those I can call when something happens.

I’m thankful for Jesus who died so He could have a relationship with me. He gave me more than His death. He gave me life and the ability to spend that life with Him intentionally. I’m thankful for the journey He has brought me on. I am not the same person I was and I get to look forward to the future. My story isn’t what I thought it would be. Some areas are much better. Other areas I don’t understand.

I’m thankful for finished building projects while looking forward to finishing more.

I’m thankful for art. From beads to written word to writing. I enjoy the freedom to express what I wouldn’t otherwise say.

Last, but in no wise least, I’m thankful to those people who donated so the ‘ponies’ could eat. They nicker in gratitude before each meal. 😉

Gifts for the Horses and Horse People in Your Life

Instead of fighting the crowds next week here are some ideas they will love that don’t involve combat tactics to acquire:

Hoof Picks

It seems that no matter how many of these you have another one still finds it’s place.

For under $15, this slim knife/hoofpick combination is my farrier’s favorite pick

For under $10, the folding hoof pick neatly fits in a pocket without poking.

For under $5, hoof picks in their colors make excellent stocking stuffers

Horse Treats

These healthy alternatives to sugar cubes allow horses to get what they love while the humans who love them know they are getting the good stuff.

I wish these were all natural. I find almost all horses who have ever been on an antibiotic need a probiotic to be truly healthy

My favorite has no sugar or molasses

Organization

Organizing is usually a lot less fun than riding. Here are a few things which help save on organizational chores.


Emergency

Show you care with an emergency kit

This all natural kit contains