February 2011
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postheadericon Buying a horse is actually the simple procedure of exchanging dollars and cents for an animal of your choice

Buying a horse is actually the simple procedure of exchanging dollars and cents for an animal of your choice. But buying an animal suited to your abilities is a difficult task. Before looking for a horse decide what use and purpose the horse will serve, for pleasure, for breeding, or for showing. Each of these is in a different category and requires a different kind of animal. However, you may be fortunate enough to find a combination of all three attributes.

Consider these tests before you buy a horse:

1. Look at him from a distance and examine his build as a whole. This is called conformation, and each breed of horse has certain characteristics that identify him by form. The animal should carry his head well and be neatly put together.

2. Check for soundness. Run your hands up and down his legs. Look for an unexplained lump or sign of soreness.

3. Test his vision. A horse should blink when you wave your hand in back of his eye.

4. See whether or not he leads in or out of the stable easily.

5. Watch saddling and bridling. See if he is uneasy when cinched. Some horses are afraid of a girth, caused by too tight a cinch. Notice whether or not he is bridle shy, touchy about the ears; whether he opens his mouth to receive the bit.

6. Have the owner ride the animal so you can see how he handles. Watch whether he stops easily, reins well, backs, and has an easy gait. Have the owner work the horse to a gallop. Try to determine if he is speed crazy. The owner should guarantee the safety of the animal as to training. Also, note whether or not there is excessive breathing, noise with the breathing, and flanks that heave spasmodically.

7. Most important! Ride the horse yourself. Is he smooth in the walk, trot, and canter? Does he shy? Is he spooky? Can you start and stop him? Is he too spirited for you to handle? Does he switch his tail constantly? Can you ride him away from the stable? A tail-switcher means that the animal has been pushed too fast in training and indicates nervousness. Usually a horse that has been trained by a woman will not like a man rider, or will be uneasy with a man on his back. Sometimes this works in the reverse. Many times it is because of the handling of the reins. A man is normally heavier handed than a woman. However, this depends on the horse and the rider in the main, but it is something to consider in buying a horse that has been privately owned by one person for some time.

8. Don’t buy a stallion. He may look good in the movies but is not practicable in real life. He is likely to be unpredictable and should be managed only by an expert horseman. He belongs, mainly, on the breeding farm. You’ll find just as much spirit and animation in a good mare or gelding and far less trouble.

No horse is perfect, but whatever faults are present you must decide whether or not they may be eliminated with some training. Many times all a horse needs is work. Horses also respond to owners. They have their likes and dislikes. Personalities clash just as between people. Whole personalities have changed with ownership.

Be sure the animal is suited to your own capabilities. And, once again, don’t buy the first horse you see. Some­where there is a horse suited to you. Two things are important: the age of the rider and of the horse, and the experience or lack of it in both rider and animal.

One must equal the other, rider and animal, because no matter how well trained the horse, if the rider does not understand this training, then the horse will not work well. And a good horse can soon be ruined by a poor rider.

postheadericon Dogs dig because of a number of reasons and to put an end to your dog’s destruction of your backyard requires that you understand why your dog is digging in the first place

Dogs dig because of a number of reasons and to put an end to your dog’s destruction of your backyard requires that you understand why your dog is digging in the first place.

Digging For Prey:

Some dogs dig to root out prey such as snakes, gophers and even bugs. When they do this, they are acting instinctively and not out of a malicious desire to upset you. Some dogs will even try to dig out buried trash and dead animals and proudly present you with the results of their “hunting”.

Due to their keen senses of smell and hearing, dogs can detect things underground and a good indication that your dog is digging for prey is if the dog is digging by the roots of a tree or in a specific area.

Dogs that dig to get at some coveted “buried treasure” can be persistent and putting an end to this type of digging can be quite difficult. If your dog is digging to root out gophers or moles, your best option is to get rid of the prey. Ask your local garden shop for advice on how to get rid of grubs as these are a mole’s favorite food. If you get rid of the mole’s food source they will eventually move away. Never try to poison these animals or your dog may end up ingesting the poison.

If getting rid of garden pest isn’t a feasible option you should consider fencing off an area of the yard to restrict your dog’s access. Try to provide the run with a concrete or wooden floor to prevent your dog from digging his way out of the run. Always make sure you give your dog ample exercise before placing him in the run. Taking your dog on daily walks will not only provide him with the exercise he needs, but it is also a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated.

Digging For Shelter:

Some dogs dig to make a shelter for themselves. Dogs are originally den animals and digging a shelter is a natural thing for them. You can usually differentiate prey digging from shelter digging by the size of the hole. If the hole is large enough for the dog to lie in this generally means it was dug for shelter purposes. Dogs will dig a hole to lie in during hot weather. They seek the cool, moist earth to escape intense heat. In winter dogs will dig to provide themselves a shelter from the wind and rain. If your dog is digging a shelter you should provide him with an appropriately placed dog house. The dog house should be placed close to the home in a shaded place. In cold weather areas the doghouse should be insulated to provide sufficient warmth for the dog. Some dogs dig shelters even when  provided with a doghouse and this usually means the location of the doghouse is unsuitable. For example a dog that digs under a porch does so because he wants to be as close as possible to his owners, if this is the case then placing the doghouse closer to the home may prevent further digging.

If you live in a hot part of the nation you should provide your dog with sufficient shade. An insulated doghouse in a shaded area near the house is an ideal location for your doghouse. Provide your dog with a wading pool filled with fresh water. Water loving dogs such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands will especially appreciate a wading pool. Always make sure fresh, clean drinking water is freely available for your dog.

postheadericon When potential aquarists start looking into the possibility of starting their own salt water aquarium there is one thing which is often quite daunting – equipment

When potential aquarists start looking into the possibility of starting their own salt water aquarium there is one thing which is often quite daunting – equipment.

There is a lot more equipment which is required in a salt water aquarium, especially a salt water reef aquarium.

Equipment requirements can be but not limited to :

* Heaters
* Water movement devices
* Lighting
* Protein skimmers
* Calcium reactors
* Filtration devices
* Auto top up devices
* Auto feeders
* Nitrate reducers
* Phosphate reducers
* Stirrers
* Reverse osmosis units
* Computer controllers
* And more…….

With all the information you need to know to start a successful salt water aquarium then only thing you realistically need to know about equipment is what they are for, what is a definitive requirement and what is not.

Of course all equipment is made by various manufacturers and this post cannot go into the detail as to which is the better manufacturer to use and why.

For the potential salt water aquarist who is not really that interested in technology and let’s face it not everyone is (except me!) and just wants a salt water aquarium in their home there is another way.

There are salt water aquarium packages which you can purchase. These salt water aquarium packages come in various shapes and sizes and combine everything you need in one handy take home package. The only thing which you will need with one of these packages is the water, salt, filtration and livestock itself. There are some salt water aquarium packages which even come with a reverse osmosis unit, some salt and man made filtration or natural filtration.

With these salt water aquarium packages you really do have everything you need. You simply purchase one, take it home (or have it delivered) set it up, add the salt water, go through the nitrogen cycle and then slowly stock it – easy eh!

The majority of these salt water aquarium packages keep the majority of the equipment either underneath the aquarium in the sump or in a specially designed rear panel which hides all the required equipment from view. The only trouble with the latter is that they do tend to remove a bit of the width of the tank – normally 3-4 inches. Personally if I was going to purchase a package like this I would opt for the sump one, but it really is up to personal choice.

Of course you do not need to go for a predetermined package deal you can approach your local fish shop and ask them to design you a salt water aquarium package. You will be surprised how many shops will accommodate this.

In closing if you are not interested in technology and purely want a salt water aquarium to look after and enjoy but do not want the hassle of purchasing all the required equipment separately then these salt water aquarium packages are certainly worth further investigation.

postheadericon First detected in the united states in 1984 the tracheal mite has caused the loss of tens of thousands of colonies and millions of dollars

First detected in the United States in 1984 the Tracheal mite has caused the loss of tens of thousands of colonies and millions of dollars. The tracheal mite will infest the tracheal system of the adult honey bee, they prefer adult bees less than four days old. Levels seem to be at the highest during the winter and spring. Once they are on the bee, the mites are attracted to the carbon dioxide exhaled and enter the spiracles located on the thorax, which lead to the tracheal system. They will puncture the wall of the trachea and suck the blood of the bee.  Once in the tracheal system the mites live, breed and la eggs. The adult and the eggs plug the tubes of the trachea, which impairs oxygen intact of the bee. Since they puncture the trachea in order to feed, they will spread secondary diseases and pathogens. The bee dies from the disruption to respiration damage to the trachea, and from the loss of blood. Once over 30 percent of the population are infected with tracheal mites, honey production may be reduced. The likelihood of winter survival decreases with increasing infestation of the mite. Mites are transmitted from bee to bee within a colony by robbing or drifting bees.

Infested bees will be seen leaving the colony and crawling on the grass just outside the hive. They will crawl up the blades of grass or the hive, fall back down and try again. The wings will be disjointed and the bees will be unable to fly. If you are unsure about a tracheal mite infestation, send sample bees in alcohol to your local county extension agent for verification.

One method of preventing tracheal mites is an oil extender patty. It consists of two parts sugar to one part vegetable shortening. Make a small patty about four inches in diameter. Sandwich it between was paper. Cut the wax paper around the edges so the bees have access to the patty. Place the patty on top of the frames in the center within the hive body. The bees will be attracted to the sugar and get oil on their body. The oil makes it difficult for the mites to identify suitable bee hosts. The oil patties will not contaminate the honey supply so they can be used for prolonged periods.

There is one other method for controlling tracheal mite infestations. Menthol can be used and is available in most bee supply stores. The temperature must be above 60?F in order for the menthol to work. The bees breathe the vapor, which dehydrates the mites. Menthol must be removed during a nectar flow so that the honey is not contaminated.

postheadericon Many people are concerned about commercial dog foods that are readily available in stores

Many people are concerned about commercial dog foods that are readily available in stores. With the many recalls lately, people are justified to worry whether there is any healthy dog food available any more. The truth is that just as people are concerned when purchasing processed foods for their own consumption, dog owners are also justified to be concerned when purchasing food for their canines.

There are several ways people can check to find out whether the food they are buying for their canines is healthy for them or not. It is very good practice for people go through the ingredients used by canine food manufactures to try and ascertain whether they are buying healthy dog products or not. People will be surprised to find out how much a quick scan at the ingredients list can tell them about the particular product they want to purchase.

Undoubtedly your canine is omnivorous by nature and so the food you purchase for it should reflect this fact, if it is indeed healthy. This means that at least the first three ingredients of the healthy food you want to buy should contain some kind of animal protein. The first three ingredients should therefore include proteins such as beef, fish, chicken or turkey. Experts suggest that a healthy dog meals should at least bear a 50% meat, 40% vegetable and 10% carbohydrates ratio for it to be considered healthy dog food.

People should also be aware that some low quality canine food manufactures have found a way to go around the ingredients expectations on the label. While indeed they include animal proteins as the first ingredients on the label, this is often followed by other by products which disrupt the meat to vegetable to carbohydrates ratio mentioned above. The inclusion of such unnecessary fillers in the ingredients of some commercial dog foods can be a good indicator of low quality food.

Moreover, scanning the label on a commercial dog meal products can expose the commercial dog dishes that do not carry a company name, a web address and a telephone number of the manufacturing company on the pack label. In such a case the odds are that dog food is not healthy dog food for your dog. You should therefore not purchase it.

Ultimately, a sure way people can be certain that the food they feed their dogs is healthy dog food is by preparing the food themselves. People who follow this option are, however, advisable to always ensure that they are feeding their dogs’ organic food that is free from chemical preservatives and such artificial ingredients. Canines have a different digestive system to human beings and so it is good not to constantly feed dogs’ human food. These can ensure that your dog will thrive on healthy dog meals.