This past Sunday was National Horse Day. That got me thinking about the unrivaled bond between horse and rider. What do you call someone who is a best friend and a part of the family, who can read your mind, watch out for you, and even get up to mischief in a way that will undoubtedly make you laugh?
This is Rachel and Lil Duck. They communicate in a moment without words. Trust runs strong between them. Rachel confidently puts her 2 year old daughter on Duck’s back, knowing she’ll be just as safe as when she has both feet on the ground. They are partners, competing in rodeos as a team with fluid movements and dexterity. They are the best of friends, taking in daily life on the ranch. Every sunrise they are together, experiencing the beauty Colorado has to offer.
Not many get to enjoy this connection between human and animal. Those who do consider themselves lucky, as they should. If you have a horse story to share, email craftedincarhartt(at)carhartt.com.
It’s springtime, although it might not quite look like it yet. This strange mixture of rain, snow, and salt can take a toll on your bike. Here are a few tips for care and maintenance.
Keep it clean! After riding through the elements, clear all debris off your cycle– the sooner, the better. It will help prevent rust and ware. A bucket of soapy water and a sponge will do just fine.
Keep all moving elements lubed. This is important. Don’t be cheap with this step. In the long run, lube will cost less than having to replace expensive bike parts. Be mindful not to over-lube. Keep track of the areas you’ve already tended to so you don’t do it twice.
When roads are wet, let a bit of air out of your tires. Lower tire pressure increases contact area between the street and your bike. This will give you a bit more grip on slick roads.
Mudguards are a great purchase this time of year. Not only does it keep the rider clean, it prevents too much gunk from getting on other parts of your bike. It will also mean less clean up time for you after a muddy ride.
Regularly maintain your cycle. Harsh weather conditions lead to expedited disrepair of your bike. Keep an eye on brake pads, gear and brake cables, and bolt tightness.
Store your bicycle inside as often as you can. If you know it will be outside for an extended period. Be even more careful with the upkeep.
Carhartt Women’s Chore Coat is perfect for bike maintenance. The durable fabric, endless pockets, and adjustable cuffs are one your side when you have a dirty job in front of you. If you want to learn more about bike care check out what Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie’s Wrench in Portland, has to say.
I don’t know about you, but this never-ending winter is getting to me. Have you ever wondered how seasons can affect your animals? I did a little reading on how the year’s changes can bring about certain transformations in horses. Here are some tidbits of what I learned:
Spring expedites the growth of grass. Again, you’ll see spikes in potassium and nitrates. The warmer temperatures and damp conditions are prime for fungus producing myco-toxins. Watch out for Rye Grass staggers. With the increased grass, your horse can gain weight. Too much weight gain can put your horse at risk for type 2 diabetes. If you fear your horse is eating too much, a grazing muzzle may be your solution.
Summer climates allow grass growth to continue. Again, spikes in potassium and nitrates should be on your mind. Horses tend to be more relaxed during dry summers. Always have drinking water readily available. Just like humans, horses need more water on hotter days.
Autumn brings a big change in grass, often with lower sodium content and higher potassium and nitrate levels. Fungus can thrive during this season too, possibly producing myco-toxins. Take head if your horse is ill or starts to stagger. They may need to be moved to a safer spot with better conditions. When the soil is wet for a long period of time, your horse can feel tender footed after rain.
Winter slows the growth of grass, which will help lower levels of potassium and nitrates. In some cases, grass will even become dormant. Horses burn more magnesium during colder months. Make sure you are still providing the vitamins and minerals found in hard feed (especially calcium and magnesium). Keep your horse warm and dry. Horse safe hay is great for this.
All in all, keep an eye on your horse for any changes in behavior. If you can make them more comfortable, do so. Make sure to seasonally adjust their diets so that they receive the nutrition they may lack at certain times of the year. Here’s to hoping spring comes swiftly, but for now you should bundle up.
Check out Alison‘s work wear here: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Berkley Jacket, Dartford Denim Shirt, & Jasper Jeans
You’ve hit the sweet spot when you find a way to merge your passion and your job. Minneapolis graphic designer, Kelsey Dusenka, has found a way to do just that. Kelsey has three cats of her own, but after finding an abandoned, malnourished kitten beside a dumpster in the dead of winter, she found herself on a mission. She cared for the kitten until she found a good home for it. Kelsey realized how difficult it is to part with an animal and how much more difficult it is to take any pets to the shelter, which may be why so many are abandoned. With all of that weighing heavy on her heart, Kelsey wanted to create an educational resource for first time pet owners to learn what it takes to raise a cat or a dog before they adopt so the animal wouldn’t be returned to a shelter or abandoned. Kelsey is now working on starting a Kickstarter to fund My Pet 101. Ultimately, she’d like to combine forces with shelters and have a presence at their adoption events. Keep an eye out for updates on Kelsey’s website.
Tips for first time pet owners from Kelsey Dusenka:
“Do your research. You’re not buying an animal, you’re adopting one. The biggest reason newly adopted animals are returned to shelters is because of owners’ lack of knowledge, which is also the easiest problem to fix. Know how much it’s going to cost, how to set up your home, and how to raise it. As simple as it sounds, the more you know going into owning an animal, the less surprises there’ll be, and the easier it’ll be on you and your new pet.”
Meet Brittany Baton, an extraordinarily talented barrel racer from East Texas. She’s the southern girl next door with a close knit family and a drive to compete in the arena. When you’ve been riding since the ripe old age of two, you get to be pretty comfortable in the saddle. Watching Brittany run barrels you can see how natural and at home she feels there. Her advice to beginning barrel racers is to “always have an open ear for anyone that knows more than you do. Listen to their advice and try to use it because you can never learn too much.”
check out Brittany’s riding gear here: Carhartt Weathered Wildwood Jacket, Hamilton Flannel Shirt, Calumet Long-Sleeve V-Neck, & Carhartt Slim-Fit Jeans
Chicken coops are getting really popular in both rural and urban areas. There are so many benefits to starting your own. The chickens are entertaining pets that can also help teach lessons of responsibility to kids and grown ups alike. The eggs they yield are so much healthier and tastier than most eggs you can buy in the store. Chickens can help reduce waste in your household. The fruit and veggie left overs that you would normally throw out can be great food for your new pets. You can also add chicken droppings to your compost to make your garden green. Here area few tips to help you get started:
- When it comes to building a chicken coop, be creative. There are an endless amount of supplies you can use. This is a great time to up-cylce.
- As far as the sizing of your coop, be sure to allow enough space. Generally, 2 to 3 sq. ft. per chicken is a good amount. Also, make sure that humans can fit into the space so you’re able to clean and care for the clutch.
- You’ll need a separate area for feeding, roosting, and laying eggs. For cleanliness sake, leave enough distance between the food and roosting spot to keep manure out of the feed.
- You need at least 1 nesting box for every 4 or 5 chickens. Place the box a few feet off of the ground and fill the bottom with straw. (12x12x12 is a good size)
- One of the most important aspects of a coop is keeping your brood safe. Make sure the walls, doors, and windows are impenetrable to predators.
- Good air circulation is key. Either use strong fencing for the walls or have a few windows with strong wire over it. That way air can move around, but critters can’t get in and out.
- Chickens like dust baths. For this, all you need is a large litter pan. Fill it with wood ash and they’ll have a blast.
- If winters get below freezing where you are, investing in heaters is a good option.
- Decide which breed you want. Here are a few productive types: Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Australorps and Orpingtons.
- Clean the coop regularly and enjoy the fresh eggs!
Check out Jenny’s outfit here: Carhartt Women’s Rowlesburg Sweatshirt, Original-Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree, & Longsleeve Signature T-Shirt
Tips for Beginning Horseback Riding
- Reach out to others. Horseback riding is a lot more fun with other people, and they have a lot they can teach you. The best way to improve is to listen to someone more knowledgeable than you, practice, and if possible, have them critique you. Never think that you can’t learn more. The easiest way to do this is by finding an instructor.
- Invest in a helmet. Make sure to get one that is ASTM/SEI-approved. This is one of the most important investments you can make. Horses are large and can be unpredictable, and that helmet can save your life.
- Wear the appropriate clothing. Long pants and boots are crucial. Bare legs can often lead to chaffing. Never wear open toed shoes. Boots are preferred because they give you traction and a slight heel can keep your foot from sliding around in the stirrup. Make sure the boots don’t have a steel toe. Check out Ellen’s riding outfit pictured above: Carhartt Women’s Briarwood Shirt, Marlinton Vest, & Original-Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree.
- Introduce yourself to your horse. Make sure they can see you and that you don’t startle them. Extend your hand slowly towards his nose so he can smell you first. It’s like saying hello in horse language.
- Never assume that your horse is completely, 100% safe. No matter how trained he is or how well you get along, horses are prey animals first. They are going to act like that from time to time. It is better to always be ready than to assume everything will be fine. This is where that helmet can come in handy.
- Stay in open areas at first. Avoid low hanging branches, holes in the ground, and other obstacles until you’re more comfortable. The ball of your foot should rest in the stirrup. Hold the reins evenly with a slight bit of slack. Don’t hold the reins too tight, or you will hurt the horse’s mouth. Loosen up and let your body move with the horse. Keep your back straight and don’t hold your breath.
That sounds like a lot to remember, but just take things one step at a time. You’ll start to get the hang of it. You won’t be perfect overnight. Be patient with your horse and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
Dog’s are not just a man’s best friend. They can be a woman’s too. They generally don’t talk back or interrupt. They love a good cuddle. And they lift up the day say the women at Canine to Five who take care of other people’s dogs during the day and go home to spend time with their own canines during their off hours. Is this a sign of pet obsession gone too far? No way. They just love dogs and hanging out with your furry friends or their own, keeps them contented and healthy. These girls like to share everything with dogs,and they are not afraid of showing real affection for any four-legged friends under their care. They are not alone. According to a 2007 study, about two-thirds of households in the US have at least one pet, and 45 per cent of those families have more than one animal. With humor, soul and a deep knowledge of what it takes to lead, women have long been a part of a dog’s life and training, just like their menfolk.
check out their work gear: Clarksburg Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt, Bergland T-Shirt, & Jasper Jean and Carhartt Women’s Stockbridge Sweatshirt, Women’s Force Performance T-Shirt, & Straight-Fit Jean
Remember Claire from Willowbrooke Farms in Michigan a few weeks back? Her story is featured in the Carhartt Spring 2014 Lookbook. Posted above are a few more behind the scene shots of Claire and Dixie. Make sure to check out the sneak preview of the Spring line here. The Jasper Jeans are available now! With Work-Flex™ durable stretch technology, they are perfect for a work day that’s filled with bending, crawling, and climbing. You may have heard about Carhartt Force already. Its stain resistant and moisture wicking material make it perfect for work. It will soon be available in a polo T-shirt with a great shape and color.