Drowsy Water

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Colorado Columbine at Drowsy Water Ranch

For flower enthusiasts, it might as well be Christmas around Drowsy Water Ranch. With our beautiful wildflowers blooming all over the ranch and the trails, our horseback rides are a real treat.

And the star of this wildflower-holiday-season is the Columbine. The state flower, commonly known as the Rocky Mountain Columbine or the Colorado Columbine, is a marvelous lavender, white, and gold flower. The flower was discovered on Pike's Peak in 1820 by mountain climber Edwin James. The flower was then unofficially adopted as the Colorado state flower in 1891 when Colorado school children voted on their favorite flower. In 1899, a Colorado Women's club in Cripple Creek went to work to make the adoption official. In 1925, the Colorado General Assembly approved a bill that made it illegal to uproot the flower on public land and limited the gathering of blossoms and buds to 25 in one day.

The lavender, white, and gold of the Colorado species symbolizes the sky, the snow, and Colorado's rich mining history, respectively. Columbines come in 70 different species and also bloom in shades violet, red, yellow, and white. The flowers rich aroma attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to it's nectar.

Come check out our Columbines at Drowsy Water Ranch.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking your horse in the mouth

Last week, we were fortunate enough to have our horses’ teeth checked and floated by Colorado State University Equine Dentistry Professor Dr. Connally and three of his fourth year students. It took them two long days to look inside each and every equine mouth around here.

Horses, unlike humans, have teeth that erupt continuously for 25 to 30 years. In the wild, horses ingest silica that wears down their teeth naturally. In domesticated horses, a diet of hay, grass and grain is not abrasive enough to wear down a horse’s teeth. The teeth continue to erupt without adequate wear and can form sharp points, or hooks, where the wear pattern is uneven. The uneven wear can then cause ulceration along the tongue and gums that, left untreated, can hinder a horse’s ability to eat properly and ultimately affect the horse's overall health.

After a basic examination that includes the vet grabbing hold of the huge horse tongue and checking out the teeth with a flashlight, the vets determine if teeth need floated. If the horse is in need of some dentistry, the vets then sedate the horse and use a speculum to keep the mouth open.
The vet then uses either a traditional file to round off any points or what is called the Power Float, which is pretty much a power drill attached to a rotating file.
Once the dental overgrowths are under control, the horse is released and, usually, won't need additional work for two to three years.

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