Change is Good.

There have been many changes since my last posting.

I originally got into blogging because of dear friend Tiny....During my hiatus Tiny passed away from the most dreadful disease  ever...CANCER.  There are no words to express how much I miss her. 

I decided to re-start my blogging for her (I know she would love it) and to remind me of how well my life is going, what I am doing now, and most importantly what I have done. This aging thing depletes the memory. It seems that blogging will keep me fresh or if nothing else let me create some room in my brain for new information. 

Let's get up to speed-

Hillbilly Haven is how we refer to our home. It is a delightful ranchette located in Corbett Canyon. A giant horse barn with workshop, 3 pastures, a 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch style house with 3 fireplaces  and a granny unit complete our place.

Maddy is attending San Diego State University SDSU  and thriving. She is majoring in International Business and after some soul searching has decided she actually enjoys the challenge. Her first year is being spent in the dorms, more specifically Maya Hall. She is in the honors program and a couple clubs. She has made some very good friends and plans on moving into a new apartment complex for the school year 2014/2015. BLVD 63 are luxury apartments very close to the campus with lots of amenities. Looks good to me.

Izzy is a junior at San Luis Obispo High School concentrating on her grades and in the process of finding Colleges she is interested in attending. She works at WCEBS. A horse boarding facility right around the corner. She has her horse Bambi and enjoys all the wonderful things horses bring to her life. 

Daddy is the warehouse manager for J&L Wines out of Paso Robles. I am working for a new cheese shop in downtown San Luis Obispo Fromagerie Sophie and for Monique Carlton as her social media director. Another reason I started blogging again. I am doing her blog and thought they would go together like tea and honey!

This is the last weekend before my annual volunteering stint at the largest fundraiser for the San Luis Obispo County Womens Shelter. The last 16 years the girls and I have been participating in Phyllis' Musical Review 2014-Strike a Pose held at the Madonna Inn. The girls model in the show and I am a stage hand-Stage right to be exact and get the pleasure of lining up the acts and getting them out on stage in the right sequence and on time. Sounds easy, yes...but the job does have its challenges. Judy Darway is stage left and her and I have a blast for the 4 shows that this year are March7 and 8. We have a memorial table on Friday night in my mother Rosemary's memory and invite our friends to come party with us and support the Shelter. 

Tickets are still available

Horse facts: How much do you know about horses?

Fuel for thought...

Basic horse facts: Keeping a horse isn't like keep a dog or cat. Dogs and cats are designed more like humans than horses are, in some very important ways.

Did you know that a horse's digestive system is designed to only move in one direction (from front to back)? Horses can't throw up. If they do, they're stomachs rupture. So you feeding a dog or cat the wrong thing is a little less dangerous if they throw it up in time. Feeding a horse the wrong thing can be disastrous because this isn't an option.
Horse's larynxes (voice boxes) are higher in their throats than humans. This gives them an advantage over us. When we choke on something, it shuts off our air supply. We are at risk of suffocating very quickly unless the object is dislodged. But when a horse chokes, they can still breathe. They just can't swallow until the object is dislodged.

Horses are also obligatory nose breathers. That means they can breathe ONLY through their noses. We can breathe through our mouths and our noses. So if we get a stuffy nose, no big deal. We just breathe through our mouths. If a horse nasal passages swell due to a snake bite or allergy, he will suffocate. He can't breathe through his nose. For this reason, it's always a good idea to keep clean flexible garden hose in your barn. If something like this happens to your horse, you can put some vaseline on the hose and guide it up through a nostril so he can breathe until the vet arrives.

Did you also know that horse's don't use vision to recognize things as well as humans do. They depend more on their sense of smell. So that piece of paper fluttering on the other side of the arena is a piece of paper to you. To your horse--who can't identify it well with her eyes and can't smell it from so far away--sees a monster. And since horses are prey animals, nature designed them to flee really fast first and think about what that thing was later.

Did you also know that horse teeth continue to descend through the gums throughout the horse's lifetime? Horse grind down their teeth as they chew their hay. This isn't normally a problem because there is plenty of tooth embedded above the gumline, and the teeth descend as needed. But they can form sharp hooks or unevenness as the horse chews. These problems can interfere with the bit when you're riding, or can cause a horse pain as he eats. 
That is why they must have their teeth filed or "floated" (as it's called) by a veterinarian or equine dentist at least annually.

Horses also are huge. This often comes as a surprise to people who are used to being around dogs or cats, and then consider getting a horse. Horses weigh on average about 1,000 lbs or more. A 5'5" tall woman will have difficulty seeing over the back of an average horse.
These are just some of the more useful horse facts every horse owner or horse business owner should know. 

Phyllis's Muscial review

Let the fun begin. It is time to gear up for 
The San Luis Obispo County Women's Shelter major yearly fundraiser."Phyllis's Musical Review"

The Women’s Shelter Program is dedicated to supporting victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and child abuse. Twenty-four hour crisis line, emergency shelter, food and clothing, counseling, case management, transitional housing, advocacy, and assistance with restraining orders is provided to victims. Education and prevention programs are offered to local agencies, schools, and to our community. During fiscal year 2010/11, the Women’s Shelter Program assisted over 800 people affected by the crime of intimate partner violence.
There are many local individuals dedicated to providing support so victims may create a violence-free lifestyle. Client services are funded by money raised during our annual fashion and variety show to be held March 2nd & 3rd, 2012 at the Alex Madonna Expo Building. This popular fundraiser has been highly successful, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Madonna family and local businesses who provide items for the raffle and auctions.
This year the show promises to be big, special and full of surprises. Along with a good meal, wine tasting, live and silent auctions there is a fantastic interactive musical fashion show with local politicians, news TV personalities and local residents.
My daughters, Maddy and Izzy have been volunteering their time for 12+ years to this wonderful benefit.
Please join us this year for what will surely be another great show knowing you have helped the victims of domestic violence in the county.
Contact the Madonna Inn 805-543-3000 for tickets!
Tax deductible Live and silent auction items are always needed and appreciated to support the Shelter. Please contact
"My Favorite Things Boutique" at the Madonna Inn  to give...

Giving feels so good...

The holidays are a very busy time for everybody. It is a time of family, fun, laughter and giving. After the holidays It is a prime time to say thank you for all of the wonderful holiday gifts and good cheer you received and lend support to charitable organizations. 
Miller's Equestrian Center and Sanctuary is one of those organizations that can use a hand this time of the year. 
When it comes to helping equine welfare groups, knowing what rescue operators need most is the key.
Here is a list of items that Miller's can always use.

 The Basics
•             Parasite control products, such as fly spray.
•             New or gently used lead ropes
•             New or gently used halters
•             Weight building supplements and other feed additives such as                       
•             Wheel barrows--especially large, heavy duty-types with puncture-
               resistant tires.
•             Industrial-type brooms.
•             Heavy duty trucks and horse trailers in good condition.
•             Grooming supplies
•             Blankets, especially waterproof  

Wonderful Gifts!

•             Cash to purchase hay, to pay veterinary service, to underwrite training                 
               for rescued horses expenses, and to cover the daily expenses   
               incurred by   equine rescues.
•             Gift certificates redeemable at feed, farm supply, and home 
               improvement stores and elsewhere.
•             Volunteers, especially those with equine, marketing, advertising, and 
               fundraising expertise.

Miller's has taken in 3 new horses this winter for our riding school program. Treat, Lad and Logan are wonderful additions to our riding school. 

Individual and corporate donations, fundraisers and grants primarily fund Miller’s Equestrian Center and Sanctuary. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent. These gifts are vital to maintain healthy horses and provide our program benefits to the children our organization serves. Please consider donating to our programs for their continued success.

Please visit for information on how to help this wonderful equine organization.

Giving feels so good....

Lend a helping hand...

I thank you in advance for helping the magnificent animals...
It's that time of the year again...

Miller's Equestrian Center and Sanctuary
is holding it's annual Poinsettia Sale. Every year at this time we sell locally grown poinsettia plants for the holidays. 
Some Facts:
Plants are in 6 1/2" pots.
You have the color choice of:

                PLANTS ARE ONLY $10.00 EACH!

The Sale ends November 18, 2011
Plants will be delivered between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2                              

The money raised will be used to buy MORE FEED for the horses and to winterize their pastures. Both of these items are very important to the horses to make the wet and cold months more tolerable. 
Please email me at 
with any questions or to place an order.

For my boy...

Some of us are lucky to bond with a great horse or two in our 

lives. Every moment with them is cherished. Memories with 

them are burned into our minds. We remember the day we 

met, the day they left and every day in between. Some horses 

are only in our life temporarily or for a short time. Some need 

to move on or pass on for different reasons. Their time comes 

and goes just as our own. Be kind to the horses that cross the 

trails through your life, as you never know when you'll meet 

again. We cannot be every horse's person, but we can be 

every horse's friend.

In Memory of Ted....

Happy Trails buddy. 

I miss you daily and know how lucky I was to 

have you.

To Blanket or Not to Blanket...

This is a question I get asked a lot this time of the year... I hope this helps!

How a horse stays warm:

Horses have developed very efficient means of staying warm, even in very cold temperatures. Your horse's coat is comprised of two types of hair: longer stiffer guard hairs; and a soft, fluffy undercoat. The guard hairs "guard" or protect the soft hairs from dirt and water, shed off rain, and collect moisture from sweat that might damage the undercoat. The softer, fluffier hairs of the undercoat trap warm air between and act like insulation around your horse. Natural oils are produced that coat the hair to make them water resistant. Each hair is connected to the piloerector muscle. This muscle allows the hairs to be stood up or laid flat. When they stand up, warm air trapped between them, just above the surface of the skin. When they lie down, warm air is released from between them, cooling the area above the surface of the skin.

When don't I need to blanket my horse?
  • When he has a natural winter coat
  • When he is healthy and in good body weight
  • When it is not too windy or raining
  • If the temperature stays above 5°F

When do I need to blanket my horse?
  • When he has been clipped for winter
  • When he is sick or injured
  • When he is underweight (or any "hard keeper")
  • When he is older, with weight issues, or difficulty moving around
  • When he has been recently moved to a colder climate (Expect it to take 10-21 days for a horse to acclimate to a new climate)
  • When it is Windy or Rainy or both
  • When there is no available shelter


It is very important to keep in mind that there are times when blanketing is worse than not blanketing. A blanket will make your horse's hair coat lie flat, thus removing that insulating layer of warm air. If the amount of insulation in the blanket is less than what your horse's natural coat would provide, then he will be cold. Make sure that any blankets used for turnout are waterproof! A wet blanket will make your horse cold. Too many blankets, or too heavy a blanket will make your horse sweat, make the hairs lie down, and make your horse cold. Stick your hand under your horse's blankets to make sure he is not too hot. Additionally, you should not see sweat marks on your horse when you take the blanket off.