January 2009
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postheadericon A horse can be regarded as more than an animal to ride, more than a hobby

A horse can be regarded as more than an animal to ride, more than a hobby. A horse owner can love that animal as easily as he can love a dog. The main reason for purchasing a horse is to ride but the horse/human relationship is much more than that. When a small child looks up and says, "Your horse is beautiful" the horse owner is filled with pride.

When a horse is well trained and accustomed to working "with" the rider it’s almost as if the two are merged during riding. There is no better example of this than a "cow pony" (also called a cutting horse) which is a horse trained to follow, chase and cut a cow from the herd. The need for a horse to perform this duty dates back to the days when range cattle were branded and herds turned loose to roam without benefit of fences. Each rancher used his own brand as a method of recognizing which cattle he owned. During a cutting horse competition, the cowboy can guide his horse without touching the reins. The shifting of the rider’s body weight in the saddle tells the horse what direction to take. The perfect communication between the two is amazing to witness.

Watching these competitions makes for a great spectator sport.

People watching can be an interesting pastime. Observing a herd of horses in a pasture is just as interesting in the sense that each has an individual personality just like people. In a herd of ten you might see two laying down, another two might be fighting with each other. A fight can be anything from nipping at each other to rearing up and lunging. If one horse approaches from behind, the horse who is crowded might kick out with one hind leg and sometimes both.

The remaining horses might turn to observe or simply continue grazing. Some will never fight even if provoked. Others seem to enjoy being disagreeable. When a horse lays its ears back it indicates anger against another horse and may result in a bite or a kick.

Every horse owner smiles when offering an apple or carrot as a treat. The warm muzzle and the soft whinny as the animal takes the treat from the open hand is a bonding moment. Petting the side of a horse’s nose is like touching velvet.

There are many things a horse has to offer to a human. He can be ridden for recreation or in horse shows. He can be part of a team and pull a hay wagon. Some can be trained to jump and the Royal Lipizzaner stallions which have been bred to perfection for half a millennium perform dressage which has been described as "horses dancing."

Registered thoroughbreds are trained to win speed races. Registered quarter horses learn to run barrels and compete in other speed contests at the Western horse shows. Riding clubs take part in parades on the fourth of July and many Renaissance fairs feature exhibition jousting matches. The versatility and appeal of this magnificent animal can touch your heart if you let it. At that point the relationship becomes more than a joining of horse and rider; your horse has whinnied his way into your heart and become – your pet…

postheadericon There is more to a new fish tank then just a tank filled with water sitting on a stand in your living room

There is more to a new fish tank then just a tank filled with water sitting on a stand in your living room. There is a certain amount of equipment needed such as a heater and filter to keep your fish healthy and happy. With the proper equipment your tank will become a healthy water filled paradise for your tropical fish. Most tropical fish are imported in small boxes which can be quite a shock to their systems. By providing an environment much like their natural environment your fish will thrive and become an active part of your everyday life.

Getting the right type of heater is an important part of setting up your fish tank, unless of course you are just putting gold fish in it. Nearly all tropical fish require a water temperature between 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They will die if they are kept in water cooler then that for any length of time.

You need to be aware that there are different sized heaters for different sized tanks, make sure you get one that will work for the fish tank you decide to go with. If you get one that’s too small or does not have a high enough voltage rating for your tank it will not be able to adequately heat the amount of water needed. On the flip side if your fish tank heater is to big for your tank you stand a good chance of boiling your fish. If you are unsure of what size heater to get ask some one who works at your local fish store.

The second major piece of equipment you will need is a filter of some sort. A filter keeps the water circulating and helps filter out the ammonia and nitrates that build up in a fish tank. This is particularly true in new tanks which haven’t had a chance to get established with the beneficial bacteria that break down these natural by-products of fish waste. If too much ammonia and nitrate builds up your fish will have trouble breathing and could die. The beneficial bacteria actually build up in the filter system and break down these poisons as the water cycles through the filter.

If you do nothing else when it comes to equipping your new fish tank you need to have at the least a heater and filter. Without these two vital pieces of equipment you will be hard pressed to keep your fish tank warm enough and clean enough to successfully keep healthy happy fish.

postheadericon Excessive barking can really drive your neighbors mad

Excessive barking can really drive your neighbors mad. Especially if your dog is barking during the day when you are not at home. Every dog barks, its part of what makes up a dog, however, there is a fine line between normal barking and excessive barking. If you are finding that your dog is barking excessively and you really do not have the time to train him or her, a dog bark collar can really be of value to you.

There are two main types of Dog bark collars available on the market. Both will provide you with a way to apply corrective behaviour to your dog. The first main type is a static dog bark collar. This has a small box attached to the collar. When your dog barks, it emits a vibration that is uncomfortable to the dog and will make him correct himself.

Dogs naturally hate the smell of citronella. So the other main type of dog bark collar is a citronella collar. This collar is great if you really do not want to put a static collar on your dog. This emits a burst of citronella when your dog barks, this gets sprayed near his or her faces, and they will soon learn what happens each time they bark.

Boredom, excitement and anxiety are just some of the hundreds of reasons your dog will bark. You can easily train your dog to stop barking, that will require your time and a lot of patients. It is especially hard when your dog is only barking when you are not home. You can not really correct your dogs barking if you are not home to witness it. Thats where a dog bark collar comes in handy. It will quickly train your dog to stop barking even when you are not there to stop him or her.

Are you tired of your neighbors complaining about your dog? Chances are they are tried of complaining. Getting on with your neighbors is a must, especially if you have a barking dog that just will not stop. Many dogs are taken away from their families each and every day, all because of their barking. You can avoid this by investing in a dog barking collar that will train your dog fast to stop barking.

postheadericon Feline obesity is a threat to the health and lifespan of your cat

Feline obesity is a threat to the health and lifespan of your cat. This article will help you work with your cat to lose the needed weight with minimal struggle.

Feline health is, in many ways, common sense. Since cats are mammals like us, many of the same basic premises apply.

When a cat is overweight, he or she is at risk for heart problems, diabetes, and the exact same complications obese humans experience. Good feline health practices for reducing obesity are the same tactics used for people who need to shed a few excess pounds.

Essentially your cat needs to take in fewer calories and get a little more exercise. That’s all there is to it unless there is some genetic setback causing the feline obesity.

You might think it’s hard to get your cat on a diet and exercise program, but in truth it’s quite easy. Where you lead, your feline friend will follow.

The first step is to ask your vet what your cat’s target weight should be. Your veterinarian should be able to give you a good range to shoot for with a basic physical exam.

Fewer Calories In Your Cat’s Diet

Once you have a target weight goal, you’ll need to start by adjusting your cat’s caloric intake. Your vet can recommend a good food with fewer calories.

Also you can adjust the current feeding schedule. If you’re leaving food in the bowl all day long, start feeding your cat twice a day instead.

Take the bowls up after your cat eats in the morning and set them out again for the evening meal. Again, once the cat has had a good meal, take the food up again until the next morning.

Clearly if you have multiple cats it might not be as easy to manage your obese feline’s diet. If you don’t want to put all cats on a reduced schedule just find a food with fewer calories and eliminate treats until the target weight is reached.

And certainly stop giving your cat people food! Especially in cases of feline obesity it is counterproductive to share people food with your cat.

Feline Exercise Program

Chance are your cat is already somewhat active. Even cats who “sleep all day” have at least one activity period during the day.

Felines are polyphasic, meaning they have multiple periods of sleep and activity during the day. You may simply be unaware of when your cat is running and playing.

Your job is to get your cat involved in a period of exercise and brisk physical activity for about ten minutes each day. And you can do this by simply playing with him or her.

Drag a string, throw a catnip ball, or do something else to intrigue your cat into motion. Keep him/her running, jumping, and swatting for ten minutes or longer without stopping.

You can use catnip to stimulate your cat if needed. Many felines get a rush from this herb and will become more active for several minutes after rolling in or eating it.

It takes a little focus on your part to correct a feline obesity problem. But you owe it to your cat to put forth the effort on this because after all, you are the parental figure in this relationship.

postheadericon Thankfully, for the owner that does not want to put up with too many problems, the labrador retriever is known as one of the more mellow breeds of dogs

Thankfully, for the owner that does not want to put up with too many problems, the Labrador retriever is known as one of the more mellow breeds of dogs. It also has a great track record for working with children. As far as bringing home a dog that will work well in a family atmosphere and allow the owner to feel safe leaving the dog alone with the children, a Labrador retriever would be a perfect match.

As with all good things, there are some less desirable ones. In the case of a dog like the black Labrador puppy (and all variations and ages of this breed), it will eat whatever is put in front of it. Therefore, it is up to the owner to monitor what the dog is eating and make sure it does not overeat which would result in various health problems.

These dogs are also known for being highly energetic, willing to play catch with a ball or Frisbee for long periods of time. The exercise outside that this dog gets is what keeps it in shape and the owner must be available to play with it. In order for this dog to remain healthy, an owner must be willing to spend time outside with it by playing the aforementioned game of catch or taking it for a walk. A black Labrador puppy will have an added level of energy and the owner must be ready for that.

A dog like the black Labrador puppy is an ideal one for people with a family. It is also a coveted dog for hunters and people who spend plenty of time outdoors. A potential owner must weigh these traits and determine if this is the right dog because that will ultimately decide the happiness of both the owner and the dog in the long run.