Tom Waits

With a voice described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car,” Tom Waits continues to rip my soul with every rough word. His talent  for songwriting and music lingers on every note and syllable.

These are some of my favorites:

Bottom of the World

Long Way Home

26 Things You Can Start Today That Could Change Your Horse’s Life

Thank you SmartPak for this wonderful and informative blog post on simple and easy steps you can take to improve your horses health. This is a must read for all horse owners no matter the level of experience. See the full article here. Read and enjoy!

The following text and pictures are courtesy of SmartPak.

26 Things You Can Start Today That Could Change Your Horse’s Life

By SmartPak on August 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

1. Evolve Your Thinking

Horses evolved over millions of years for a very specific way of life. But these days, most horses are living a pretty “unnatural” life. Training, trailering, eating grain and living in a stall all put stress on your horse’s body. Luckily, there are ways to adapt your horse’s feeding program to help him cope.

2. Weigh Your Hay

Your horse was designed to graze all day long, but that’s just not practical or even possible for many barns. No matter your horse’s situation, he should be eating 1-2% of his body weight in forage per day (for a 1000 lbs horse that’s 10-20 pounds!). Unfortunately, a “flake” is not a unit of weight measurement. But you don’t have to step on the scale for every meal. With each new shipment of hay, you can weigh several bales, then divide the average weight by the average number of flakes.

3. What’s in the Bag?

You know your horse gets a scoop of something, but do you know what it actually is? There are three main types of horse feed: ration balancers, fortified grains and complete feeds.

Ration balancers only provide vitamins, minerals and protein, and they typically come with a serving size of 1-2 lbs.

Fortified grains include all that, plus a significant source of energy (calories), with an average serving size around 6-9 lbs. Most pelleted grains and sweet feeds fall within the category of “fortified grains.”

• Last but not least, there’s complete feeds, which contain all of the above and a full serving of fiber. Essentially, complete feeds are meant to replace hay in the diet of senior horses who have trouble chewing and digesting efficiently. Since they’re intended to replace the hay in the diet, complete feeds have a serving size of 15-20 lbs per day!

(SENTINEL and GUARDIAN OF EQUINE HEALTH are marks of Blue Seal Feed, which has no affiliation with SmartPak Equine.)

4. Less is More

Concentrated sources of energy, like grain, are not a natural part of horses’ diets, so only feed the minimum amount needed to maintain healthy weight and support performance. For hard keepers and extreme athletes, instead of maxing out the grain ration, consider adding a quality fat supplement for a healthy source of additional calories.

5. Go Graze-y

Pasture is your horse’s ideal feed source. If it were up to him, he’d graze up to 17 hours a day to meet his nutritional needs (and you thought you liked to snack!). For most horses, the more access to fresh pasture you can give them, the better. Got an easy keeper? Worried about the lush green grass in the spring? Throw on a Deluxe Grazing Muzzle and your horse can enjoy the outdoors in safety (and in style).

6. Feeding Frequency

Ingesting a large amount of grain can cause hindgut acidosis, which can lead to colic and laminitis. Instead of one or two large meals, try feeding smaller meals throughout the day.

7. Filling in the Gaps


Grain is very calorie dense, and most horses will either gain weight or have too much energy if they receive a full serving. But when you cut back on grain, your horse misses out on key vitamins and minerals, too. In fact, our survey of barns found that 7 out of 10 horses weren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from their hay and grain alone.
If your horse doesn’t get a full serving of fortified grain, add a vitamin/mineral supplement to make sure his bases are covered. Check out SmartPak.com/SmartVites to see our comprehensive lineup of targeted vitamin/mineral supplements.

8. Powered by Protein

Many horse owners focus on the total amount or crude protein in their horse’s diet, but equally (or more) important is the quality of that protein. Check your horse’s feed and make sure that the essential amino acids Lysine, Methionine and Threonine are present. Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins that make up tissues like muscles, bones and skin. If you’re concerned about the quality or amount of protein that your horse is getting, consider adding a supplement like Tri-Amino (#18489, $12.95) or SmartMuscle® Mass (#17181, $28.95).

9. Know the Score

A recent study out of Virginia found that over half of the participating horses were overweight or obese. Fat ponies might be cute, but just like in humans, being too heavy can have serious consequences for your horse’s overall health. From joints to metabolism, extra weight can cause a lot of extra stress. Use the Henneke Body Condition Scoring Scale to regularly monitor your horse’s score. Not sure how? Ask your vet to
show you, or head to SmartPak.com/BodyScore.

10. Upgrade His Bucket


Thanks to its unique ergonomic shape, The Better Bucket (#19839, $16.95) encourages a more natural eating position. It also gives your horse easier access to his feed, so he’s less likely to bang the bucket around.

11. Mind Your 3’s And 6’s

SmartOmega 3™As Low As: $13.95

Your horse needs both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to stay healthy, but it’s important to maintain a proper balance. Omega 6s support pro-inflammatory reactions while Omega 3s support anti-inflammatory reactions, so you want to provide your horse with two to four times more Omega 3s than 6s in his diet. Unfortunately, grain is much higher in Omega 6s than 3s (anywhere from 8 to 24 times higher!). Bring your horse back into balance with SmartOmega 3 (#18294, $13.95) and watch his good health shine through!

12. Just Say “No” To Corn Oil

There’s no denying it’ll make your horse shiny, but at what cost? Corn oil is loaded with pro-inflammatory Omega 6 Fatty Acids. A high amount of Omega 6s can lead to a chronic state of inflammation, which can have a negative impact on cellular health throughout the body. Skip the jug and opt for a smarter solution—head to tip 13 to learn more!

13. Get Your Shine On, The Healthy Way

Many oils can be much higher in pro-inflammatory Omega 6s than they are in anti-inflammatory Omega 3s (in some cases up to 200 times higher!) So skip the jug and support your horse with beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids from flax seed or fish oil with supplements like Omega Horseshine (#10182, $22.95) or SmartShine Ultra (#16319, $19.95).

14. Treat Him Right

Hilton HerballsAs Low As: $5.50

Skip the sugar and reward your horse the healthy way with super-tasty, all-natural Hilton Herballs (#15382, $5.50).

15. Stressed Out?

Studies have shown that up to 60% of performance horses have gastric ulcers. Training, trailering, living in a stall, and feeding grain all put stress on your horse, increasing his risk for gastric ulcers. Lower his stress and support his stomach to help keep him happy, healthy and performing his best.

16. Give Him A Break

Make sure that your horse’s downtime truly is downtime. Even if he’s not working, traveling to a competition or living in a busy barn can be very stressful. If possible, give him time to unwind in a peaceful pasture.

17. Find Him A Friend

Horses are herd animals, so without a buddy, turnout can be an additional source of stress. Similarly, having an aggressive pasture mate is no picnic. Find your horse a buddy that will play nice with him and his tummy
will thank you!

18. Let Him Eat Hay

The more time your horse’s stomach sits empty, the more its sensitive lining is exposed to harsh stomach acids. If he can’t have free choice grass hay for dietary or barn management reasons, pick up a Small Hole Hay Net (#19916, $16.95) to make the hay he has last a lot longer.

19. Gut Check

SmartGut® PelletsAs Low As: $37.95
U-Gard PelletsAs Low As: $22.95

When selecting a daily supplement, look for ingredients to neutralize excess acid, soothing herbs, and amino acids that support healing of the stomach lining. These supplements provide a buffer when fed near meals,
support GI cell renewal and certain herbs can help calm and soothe the stomach lining. U-Gard Pellets (#15477, $22.95) and SmartGut (#18245, $37.95) are both popular choices for comprehensive gastric support.

20. A Happy Healthy Hindgut

SmartDigest® UltraAs Low As: $29.95

Probiotics are the “good bugs” or beneficial bacteria that live in your horse’s hindgut and help break down his food. Prebiotics provide nourishment to help these microbes thrive. Digestive enzymes like amylase, lipase and protease help the body break down starch, fat and protein. Supplements like SmartDigest® Ultra (#16312, $29.95) and SUCCEED (#12755, $83.70) can help keep things . . . ahem . . . running smoothly.

21. On The Clock

Keep track of how much time your horse spends inside vs. out; with food and without; in work vs. at rest. The further he is away from his natural state, the more support he’ll likely need.

22. Get Your Head Our Of The Sand

SmartSand Purge $19.95 – $294.95

Research shows that feeding Psyllium along with probiotics and prebiotics improves fecal sand clearance and may reduce the possibility of sand colic. If your horse gets turned out on sandy soil, feed SmartSand Purge (#19475, $19.95) for a tasty way to keep him feeling good.

23. Fresh Steam

Unless you grow your own hay, you don’t have much control over the quality. But you can make the best of the hay you’ve got. Steaming kills mold, reduces dust and makes hay softer and tastier. HayGain Steamers (#19761, #19760, #19759, from $874.95).

26. Pass The Salt

Himalayan Salt Licks $7.95 – $21.95
SmartLytes® PelletsAs Low As: $12.95

Salt is critical for normal nerve and muscle function, and if your horse doesn’t get enough salt, he may not drink enough water. A horse in no work needs one ounce of salt per day all year round, and hot weather and exercise increase that need even more. Hay, pasture and commercial feeds provide virtually no salt, and many horses dislike traditional salt blocks. SmartLytes® Pellets (#19585, $12.95) are great for picky eaters. For a free-choice source that doubles as a stall toy, try the Himalayan Salt (#14870, from $7.95).

Health Benefits of Beets

Thank you Oasis Advanced Wellness for this comprehensive image of the health benefits of beets!

Beets are by far my favorite vegetable to juice. They are sweet, delicious, and dripping with nutritious goodness. I often combine them with carrots, dandelion, parsley and mint (sometimes I add an apple or two) to make a tasty and healthy drink. Please share your favorite recipes whether juiced, blended, cooked, or chopped!

Ginger Peach Ice Cream

As these are the “dog days” of summer, I decided to try a new recipe from Nouveau Raw.

Ice cream! And not just regular ice cream, rawtastic vegan ice cream! The following recipe and photos are all courtesy of Nouveau Raw. I left out the fudge because I simply did not have enough time to make it. Enjoy!

Ingredients for the ice cream base:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 4 cup frozen peaches, thawed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp raw cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp  sea salt
  • 1 cup Honey Ginger and Peach Chocolate Fudge (rolled into tiny balls)

Preparation:

  1. Be sure to soak your cashews.  This will soften them which in return will help them blend nice and creamy.  After soaking, drain and rinse well.
  2. Put all ingredients into the blender and blend for 3-5 minutes. Process till nice and creamy.
  3. If you have an ice cream maker, after the mixture is blended, chill for about 1 hour in the freezer and then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour into a Tupperware container and place in the freezer.  Be sure to stir it a few times an hour until frozen.
  5. You can also pour it into ice-cube trays and freeze.  For serving just pop the ice cubes out and using your blender, blend until it is a soft serve ice cream.
  6. It is best to take the ice cream out of the freezer for about 10 minutes ahead of time so it can have a chance to soften.  Did you know that softer ice cream has more flavor than hard, frozen ice cream?  Test it for yourself.

These are made from Honey Ginger and Peach Chocolate Fudge Bars.  I rolled the dough into little balls and froze them while the ice cream was in the machine doing its magic.

After the ice cream was done in the machine, I moved it to a bowl and stirred in the Honey Ginger and Peach Chocolate Fudge balls.

I then transferred it to a glass dish to prepare it to go into the freezer.

Best Lobster Rolls in NYC

Being a huge fan of lobster rolls, when I saw this collection by Time Out New York it could not go ignored. The article can be seen below and here is a link to the full version. I will definitely be hitting up these locations in the near future. Please leave a comment if you’ve been to any of these or have a favorite stop of your own for lobster rolls! Enjoy!

Best lobster rolls in NYC: Five restaurants top our list

Littleneck, Red Hook Lobster Pound and more top our list for the finest lobster rolls in New York City.

By Time Out editors

Fifteen years after Rebecca Charles pushed the first lobster roll across the marble counter at Pearl Oyster Bar, the simple summertime sandwich has become a New York staple, with dozens of versions on menus all over town. We tried 17 lobster rolls—at no-frills upstarts, elegant midtown power players and new-wave clam shacks—weeding out tough meat and flabby buns to find the five best versions in NYC.

Maine lobster roll at Littleneck

At this refined clam shack near the Gowanus Canal, chef Joe Atonte poaches live lobsters in house, and nestles the picked meat in an airy, toasted split-top bun from Lepage Bakeries in Maine. Squirt the accompanying lemon wedge over the stunningly sweet meat—barely dressed with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, lemon juice and bits of diced celery—to add an extra hit of brightness. On the side: semi-sour and homemade bread-and-butter pickles. • (718-522-1921). $18.

288 Third Ave, (between Carroll and President Sts)

The Down East Maine lobster roll at the Standard Grill

High Line visitors can pop into chef Dan Silverman’s airy brasserie for his chefly update on the seaside classic. He tosses ocean-fresh lobster—plucked from 1.25-pound crustaceans after briefly boiling for six minutes—with homemade mayo, lemon juice, black pepper and finely chopped celery. A smoky grilled Pepperidge Farm roll cradles the bright seafood salad topped with fresh chives and microgreens, while a paper-lined copper cup of crispy french fries completes the meal. • (212-645-4100). $22.

848 Washington St, (at 13th St)

Lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster

Maine native Luke Holden—who trapped lobsters throughout his childhood summers in Kettle Cove, Maine—and partner Ben Conniff now operate five New York locations, plus a roving food truck, for their growing seafood empire. Holden’s story is now a part of New York lobster lore: The real-estate investment banker gave up a promising financial career to start a lobster-roll business, with his pops, Jeff, who sources the picked and cooked crustaceans directly from Maine fisherman. For his simple roll, Holden sprinkles the meat with a proprietary seasoning blend, flavored with celery salt and oregano, along with lemony butter. It’s stuffed with a smidgen of mayo in a golden-toasted New England–style bun from Country Kitchen in Lewiston, Maine. • Visit lukeslobster.com. $15.

Multiple locations

Maine-style lobster roll at Red Hook Lobster Pound

At the 2009 Brooklyn Flea, Susan Povich and her husband, Ralph Gorham, became the first to bring the lobster roll—already popular at full-service restaurants like Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary’s Fish Camp—to the streets of New York. Today the couple still operates that weekend market stand, plus a takeout shop in Red Hook and roving trucks in New York and Washington, D.C. Their unadulterated Maine lobster roll showcases improbably perfect claw and knuckle pieces. The tender meat is kissed with mayonnaise, zipped up with scallion and deposited on crisp shredded lettuce in a buttery bun. • Visit redhooklobsterpound.com. $16.

Multiple locations

Lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar

Inspired by childhood summers in Kennebunkport, Maine, Rebecca Charles opened her West Village restaurant in 1997, practically launching “New England seafood” as a restaurant category in New York. A decade and a half later, her lobster roll is still a knockout. She griddles the top-loading bun to give it a beautiful, browned crunch. It’s practically flattened under the weight of a heaping mound of home-cooked lobster salad: The huge chunks of the crustacean­—boosted with a slick of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and enlivened with lemon juice and chive—taste of pure ocean. • (212-691-8211).

18 Cornelia St, (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts), 10014

Learning to Jump

I have officially decided on a name for my horse. Actually I decided about three weeks ago, but I’ve been a bit behind on the blog.

Ozymandias.

His nickname will be Ozzy. I’ll go into detail about my inspiration for this name in another post. Right now I want to give you guys a quick update on my baby’s progress.

He is doing phenomenal! I’ve attached a video of him learning how to jump. He is getting the hang of it and now consistently jumping small cross rails. I do not plan on jumping him often or increasing the height any time soon as he is still young. You may notice the first time over the cross rail in the video he merely canters over it, but the second time around he really jumps. I apologize as the video is a bit small. I recommend making it full screen.