Happy Appy Pancake for One!

Need something warm, simple and balanced to start the day?

IMG_0989Check out this fast, healthy, skillet or fry pan recipe I created:

Total Preparation and Cook time: 12-15 minutes.

Mix:

One good-sized apple, grated (I like to partially peel it.)

One egg

1 ½ tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Heat a your skillet or pan and grease with butter or oil.

IMG_0996Drop generous spoonfuls onto skillet or pan surface, spreading out if it lumps higher than ¼ inch.

Flip after a few minutes, cooking each side until golden brown.

Enjoy plain or top with yogurt and/or maple syrup.

Yum!

Still hungry? Try these Best Ever Oatmeal Pancakes!

New book charts compelling course of horse

I have two peeves with the otherwise marvelous new book, “The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion” by author Wendy Williams: the title and the cover.

9780374224400Neither represents what Williams warmly and intelligently covers over 305 pages (with a midsection of 19 color images). The title is all testosterone and bluster, conjuring images of Attila the Hun, Napoleon, and General Patton. The black and gold cover has a muscled, tight-lipped, over-collected, black horse. Even the font is macho and all capitals.

Thankfully, those features failed to dissuade me and I was rewarded with a personable, enlightening account of Williams’ work and travels across the globe.

A better title?

“Partners in History: Our Evolution with Horses”

A better cover?

An image of colorful, trotting ponies from cave art of thousands of years ago. Or, maybe a picture of Whisper, the clever, half-Morgan palomino that clearly had the author’s number.

Williams, 65, has had two steady pillars of interest in her life: horses and science journalism. She has ridden saddlebreds, played polo, trained in the hunter-jumper world, and ridden many miles of trails. She’s also written science-based features for scores of publications, including The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.

For this book, she successfully combines those interests in a non-fiction narrative that deftly weaves personal experience with research.

“I thought [horse owners] would be interested in where their horses came from,” said Williams from her home in Mashpee, Massachusetts. “It sets their horse in context.”

72241572We’re not talking about a pedigree that goes back a few generations. Williams takes us back millions of years, when horses were the size of dogs, lived in forests, and were rather “insignificant” species, according to some.

How they got to where they are now was not, Williams writes, “journeying toward the ‘perfect.’” Rather their path illustrated “the miracle of change on a changing planet.”

Fascinating stuff.

Williams travels to Wyoming, New Hampshire, Mongolia, France, Spain and elsewhere to explore horses past and present. In this book, she blends personal observations (especially of Whisper, the spry gelding who took it upon himself to jump a fence and turn on a spigot of water when he was thirsty one winter day in Vermont) with an exploration of the connection between horses and humans over thousands of years. She makes the argument, supported by our evolutionary paths, that horses wouldn’t exist as we know them today (and perhaps not at all) if it hadn’t been for us humans.

Thankfully, Williams largely steers clear of anthropomorphizing. Instead, she recognizes horses from a scientifically accurate and respectful point of view:

“[Whisper] was far from a machine; he was a living being with ideas of his own and with obvious decision-making abilities. But how did he make those decisions? What were his criteria? Did he enjoy some sense of himself?”

Reading Williams’ book will help you appreciate horses’ long journey to your barn and pasture. Visit her website.

Off Pasture? The Slow Feeder Advantages

New-Gallery_02 In this guest blog post, Monique Warren weighs in on some common issues with feeding and how slow-feeders like Hay Pillow can help. Warren writes:

Some horses paw or are aggressive at feeding time, This is more than likely due to frustration and pain than actual behavior issues. They are anxious to “self-medicate” and they are not comfortable due to the build-up of acid or ulcers. They know as soon as they start chewing and eating it will start feeling better.

The equine stomach produces acid 24 hours a day in preparation for constant uptake and can empty in as little as 15-20 minutes. Chewing activates saliva production (saliva is an alkaline substance) which buffers gastric acid.

2015-04-Digestive-tractUnder natural conditions with free-choice forage, the horse will produce about five gallons of saliva every day and eventually “recycle” much of the water content via re-absorption prior to excretion.

They may also experience stress (which can cause ulcers) due to isolation; not experiencing physical interaction with other horses. Read more about Nature is Best notions here.

Feeding with slow feeders in multiple locations enables your entire herd to eat and live together full time. Equines are herd animals; they benefit physically and psychologically from direct physical interaction. Dominant members will keep the others moving as they claim various locations. The less dominant individuals nonetheless will have alternate sources to eat from; this encourages movement and can decrease cortisol levels associated New-Gallery_08with stress from being physically separated from herd members.

Check out Warren’s Hay Pillow site.

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