Thursday, June 21, 2018

St. Jude's Ranch Recycled Card Program

St. Jude’s
Recycled Card Program

If you’re like me, you receive a lot of correspondence, including lovely greeting cards – some handmade that I can never part with. Hoarding cards is not a good idea. Now, with boxes upon boxes of saved greeting cards and correspondence, I have to rethink my organization skills. Some of the cards I can remove the front and reuse as postcards. Since I am addicted to paper, throwing cards away is... difficult. When it comes to Christmas cards, I try to recycle/resend what I can, but I have boxes of those, too (sigh).

For many years, St. Jude’s Ranch supported a greeting card program where you could send in the tops of greeting cards for recycling. Over a year (or two) ago, they stopped the program. Now, St. Jude’s Ranch is updating their recycled card program to make it easier for you to support St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in their effort to provide teens with life and work skills. The NEW and improved program will be unveiled soon.  In the meantime:

Please SEND (front only) of your recycled cards (except for Hallmark, American Greetings or Disney) to: 

100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, Nevada 89005

If you want to be on my mailing list for updates, etc., send me a note…

PO Box 399
Buchtel, Ohio 45716 USA

After reading your correspondence, I will send to St. Jude’s Ranch for recycling. In return, I will send you one of our new paperback Journals - coming in July 2018 from Monday Creek Publishing! Keep writing!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jumps Online

Jumps Online is a leading manufacturer of polypropylene show jumps for sale in the UK and Europe. We now offer a combination of high quality products, affordable prices and a commitment to ship your order quickly. Our horse jumps are manufactured out of UV resistant polypropylene (poly jumps) and are weighted to ensure they command the appropriate respect from the horses. They are resilient to our windy island conditions and yet are manageable to move around and everything on our website can be ordered online today.

Please have a browse through our website or give us a call to discuss your needs on 0800 756 9670. All our horse show jumps are safe, solid and durable as well as maintenance free, colour-fast, and easy to handle. We have many bespoke options and provide a wide range of professional jumps to event organizers. We also cater for our little people with our kids range.

We are open 7 days a week and our expert team will help you find exactly what you need.

CALL 0800 756 9670

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Adventures of Coal & Andy Charlie the Catfish By Mark. M. Dean

Schedule an Event with
Mark M. Dean!

Send your request to

The Adventures of Coal & Andy
Charlie the Catfish

Coal Coalson and Andy Anderson are two cousins setting out on the riverside adventure of their lives! The ornery ten and eight-year-olds have swallowed their PawPaw’s fishing “tail” hook, line, and sinker, about Charlie, a legendary gigantic catfish. This yellow finned catfish is “as big as a house, and as long as a tree” and as the story goes has “eaten bicycles, a helmet, and many a shoe.” The mischievous boys spend a hot summer’s day creating a tale of their own, exploring the river from above and below the surface in pursuit of the catch of a lifetime. “The Adventures of Charlie the Catfish” take us all back to those carefree summer adventures that become mystical family tales passed down from generation to generation.

Available in Trade Hard Cover from Barnes & Noble !

ISBN-13: 9780692963968
Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.50
Age Range: 3-10 Years

to schedule a book event!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Milliron: The Wallet Gun 6 18 18

Milliron Farm barn at the top of the hill.
Original art from the Smith family home.

It’s Milliron Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start and you are following along as the legacy of Dr. Abbott “Pete” Smith continues. I am revisiting Dr. Smith’s Biography (Milliron: Dr. Abbott “Pete” Smith The Biography, June 2018, Monday Creek Publishing) every Monday and posting original interviews/anecdotes that did not make the final edits.

Reviewing the story of Pete’s tumbling ride through the Milliron woods, I revisited my first draft of Ibrahim Schubert, the young man who was riding Jody’s (Pete’s widow) New Forest Pony, Junco (Junie), alongside Pete. Junie was carrying saws, machetes, etc. in his pack, as well as Ibrahim. Pete and Ibrahim were on their way to clear the Milliron horseback riding trails.

Here is a section of the first draft, which, like the remainder of Dr. Smith’s biography, was continually edited for consistency and word length (it’s the industry standard that a biography contains no more than 100,000 words). Pete’s brother, Jim, was disappointed that I removed the wallet gun scenario from the final draft…

Pete was always building, reconstructing, dreaming, and… working. He enlisted the help of whoever was available and willing to work. This day, Ibrahim Schubert was helping Pete pour concrete. Looking at Ibrahim pouring and smoothing cement in a deep hole, Pete said that Ibrahim looked like a giant dung beetle on a cow patty of cement.
Pete really liked Ibrahim; his work ethics, love of horses, and youthful energy. They were standing in the clinic parking lot that morning when Pete told Ibrahim that he wanted to show him something. Ibrahim and another farmhand were intrigued when Pete began digging in his pants pocket. He unexpectedly pulled out his wallet. “I bought this at the vet meeting in Chicago last week,” Pete grinned. It was a two-shot 22 wallet gun. He pointed his wallet to the sky and fired two shots. The farmhands were startled by the shots. Pete grimaced and enjoyed their reaction. Pete returned the wallet gun to his pocket, which later would take a tumble through the Milliron woods.
“Let’s go cut some brush,” Pete murmured, as they made the uphill trek to the barn.
Ibrahim was in charge of Junie, the Smith family’s beautiful white New Forest Pony. He strapped three chainsaws to Junie’s pack saddle and followed Pete and Bud through the barnyard.

The story is history. A wild ride through the Milliron woods that left Pete bruised for a long time. You can read the complete story of “Bud” in Dr. Smith’s biography Milliron, available locally at Little Professor Book Center, Court Street, Athens, Ohio, and all online bookstores. Next week, I will look for Ibrahim's interview in the archives and repost it (time got away from me this week!). 

If you have an AmazonBarnes & Noble, or GoodReads account, write a review! Books do not have to be purchased online to write a review, you just have to have an account with the online bookstore.

Follow Milliron on facebook to view photos and much more!

Enjoy the week ahead! Thanks for connecting!

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave to us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled and pioneer veterinarian.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Myra and Elmyra: A Tale of Two Sisters by Tonya L. Davis


Children's Literature
Available in Hardcover

Myra and Elmyra: A Tale of Two Sisters

About the Author

Tony L. Davis is a wife and mother of two daughters. Homeschooling her children allowed her to read many wonderful books that influenced her life and theirs. When not spinning tales, she spins wool from the family's Icelandic sheep, knits, sews, dyes wool and fabric, plants, gardens, and writes.

Monday Creek Publishing LLC

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stables Online

Internal Stables and External Stables Manufacturer

Stables Online are leading UK stable manufacturers providing a wide range of affordable steel framed internal stables, external stables, mobile field shelters, stable accessories and other related equestrian products. We ethically source a choice of stable boarding options for your stables which all require little or no regular maintenance.

Looking for internal stabling? Then search through our range of equestrian stables by either clicking on the images below, by using the menu above. Please also feel free to call us on 0800 756 9670 with your requirements and we will be happy to quote you. If required we can supply you with horse mats for your stable and we now offer our own sealed and bonded range of horse mats.

YouTube  - View our Latest stable installations from our YouTube Channel

Monday, June 11, 2018

Milliron: The Monte Foreman Saddle 6 11 18

Pete on the trail.

Traveling throughout Ohio and West Virginia, I collected hundreds of anecdotes from Pete’s clients, friends, and family. I had to choose one story that would entice the reader – the story that would connect Pete to the reader. Originally, the first draft of Dr. Pete Smith’s biography, Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography, the first chapter was “Bud” – the thrilling story of Pete’s death-defying ride through the woods of Milliron Farm, dangling precariously from the Monte Foreman saddle with one logging boot stuck in the stirrup.

When I connected with the eyewitness to this event, Ibrahim Schubert, it was a thrilling conversation. I remember my sister was moving at the time. It was in the evening and we had just finished packing the last box of kitchen items. I was sitting in my sister’s kitchen, talking to Ibrahim about Pete’s Monte Foreman saddle; the noisy raincoat, Bud’s quick reaction, and Pete’s nightmare as Bud crashed through the woods. Ibrahim remembered every detail.

Monte Foreman was a famous horseman in the 1950s, writing about horses - training, riding, ethics and care. He created performance tack that enabled the horse and rider to stay in balance. Pete was proud of his Monte Foreman saddle and treasured the comfortable ride. However, and as I stated in Pete's biography, never mount up wearing logging boots. 

The funny thing about writing a biography is that the writer must listen to so many points of view. Weeding out fact from fiction can be difficult, especially if the storytellers are adamant about their story (!). Many people told the same story about Pete and his wild ride on Bud, but none of the stories matched; bits and pieces were the same, but none were exactly the same. As a biographer, I have to write the facts. Writing Ibrahim’s eyewitness account overshadowed the other stories, even though people said, “Well, that’s not the way Pete told it to me.” Even Pete exaggerated the story as time went on. 

After much deliberation and harried discussions with my editor, the story of Bud became the Prologue. Next week, I’ll post Ibrahim’s original conversation and the story about Pete’s pocket gun, that I originally wrote, but took it out at the last minute.

Pete's birthday is June 16. It was a year ago Friday, June 16, that Milliron was launched at Milliron Clinic, Athens, Ohio. As a writer, it was a lifetime event. I appreciate all of the kind remarks about the book and enjoy reading reviews! If you have an AmazonBarnes & Noble, or GoodReads account, write a review! Books do not have to be purchased online to write a review, you just have to have an account with the online bookstore.

Follow Milliron on facebook to view inside photos and much more!

Enjoy the week ahead! Thanks for connecting...

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave to us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled and pioneer veterinarian.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Horse Mats Plus

Horse Mats Plus rubber matting for stables. The UK’s leading supplier of horse stable matting. From EVA rubber stable matting to solid rubber stable matting, we have the rubber stable mats for sale that you need.

Stable Mats for Horses: Whether you need self-install lightweight horse stable matting for your stable floor, or a professionally fitted bonded and sealed stable flooring solution, we can offer you advice and help you choose the right horse mat for your needs. Please navigate our website to learn more about our different rubber stable flooring for horses, and to see some of our fantastic offers on our rubber horse mats for your stable flooring, such as our 6 mat & 12 mat specials.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Fergus and the Greener Grass by Jean Abernethy

Meanwhile at Monday Creek Stables... Mac and Zubie love FERGUS !!
New!  Now Available!
Recommended Reading for Everyone!
Jean Abernethy
Fergus and the Greener Grass
“Everyone loves Fergus!” say reviewers, and now the opinionated cartoon horse and bona fide social media star is back in an all new comic adventure. In his third book, Fergus catches a glimpse of what could be, and leaving his life of comfort behind, sets off on a hilarious journey. His exploits lead him over, under, and through all manner of obstacles as he strives to reach the bigger, better prize that beckons, always just a little farther away…and on the other side. Featuring the talented Jean Abernethy’s hysterical illustrations and scenes replete with supporting characters as amusing as their endearingly awkward hero, Fergus and the Greener Grass promises to entertain any reader with big dreams and an insatiable appetite for life’s little surprises―whether age 5 or 95!

About the Author
Jean Abernethy grew up on a small family farm, where as a child, she learned explore her world on horseback. She pursued a college education in Equine studies, then earned her art degree at Ocad University in Toronto. Her comical horse cartoons have graced equine print publications for over 30 years, while her passion for horses has led her through work with saddle making, and employment as a barn hand, carriage driver, and trail guide. Most notably, her star character, Fergus, has brought laughter to over 300,000 Facebook fans around the world. Jean has written and illustrated three books: The Essential Fergus the Horse; Fergus: A Horse to Be Reckoned With; and Fergus and the Greener Grass.

Read Jean’s Interview here!

Connect with Jean…

Thank you, Jean, for your friendship! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Milliron: The Beginning 6 4 18

Last June at this time, I was going through the final edits of Dr. Abbott “Pete” Smith’s biography. Dr. Smith’s widow, Jody, and I worked long hours hammering out the holes and figuring out the final scenarios. Writing Dr. Smith’s biography took many years of interviews, emails, phone calls, reading, sorting through old photographs, and creating an outline. If you are writing a biography (or any large script), my advice to you is to begin with an outline. It was into the second year of collecting information that I finally began an outline. 
Biographies must be heartfelt, nurtured, and concise. After all, it’s the story of an entire life – writing a lifetime into 100,000 words is complex and, at times, difficult. It's not like writing fiction. It's a completely different mindset. You must know what to leave in; what to leave out. Facts must be accurate and anecdotes must be exactly as told by the contributor. I always say that writing is like riding a bike downhill; editing is riding a bike uphill. At the end of the day, it’s all worth the journey.
Dr. Smith was the proprietor of Milliron Clinic. He was a famous veterinarian in Athens, County, Ohio. His client list was long – and loyal. Traveling with Jody throughout the tri-state area, I met so many incredible people, most I now call ‘Friend.’ I often told Jody that I was going to write a book about writing the book, and so I will. Here. Every Monday.  

Next week I'll write about collecting the story for the introduction. An amazing event that had many viewpoints. I found the source, the man who was with Pete when Pete's horse decided to dump Pete and drag him through the woods like a rag doll. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Horsemanship: Quotes from Riders Around the World

New from Monday Creek Publishing!
Now Available!
Quotes from Riders Around the World
What does horsemanship mean to you?

Illustrations by Zorka Veličković
Compiled by Gina McKnight

Journey through country stables, city trails, working round pens, and shining arenas where you will find equestrian wisdom from around the world. “What does horsemanship mean to you?” The question asked of cowboys, horse trainers, clinicians, equine writers, eventers, bull riders, barrel racers, and more! As a freelance writer, Gina McKnight connects with amazing horsemen and horsewomen. They are the inspiration for this book. To read their entire interview, visit Thanks to each one for their contribution to this volume.

Special thanks to Zorka for inspiration and motivation. Her charismatic character, along with her engaging art, continue to encourage and support our love for horses. 

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to local horse rescues.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Farrier Friendly: An Interview with Bryan Farcus

Farrier Friendly: An Interview with Bryan Farcus
By Gina McKnight
Archived from the April 2018 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete

No duplication without permission.

“Horsemanship is like any other tool in a farrier’s box, it must be honed or sharpened from time-to-time to give the best results.”

If you have a horse, encounters with farriers are necessary. I have exceptional farriers in my area and always excited to meet someone who is an expert in their field. Last year while my mare, Zubie, was away for a month at a training facility, my horse trainer’s farrier, Bryan Farcus, looked at Zubie. My mare is healthy with good hooves; however, she had an exterior lateral hairline crack on her right front. She had the crack when I bought her – from excessive pavement exposure. When Bryan looked at Zubie, he had an idea, and put a different shoe on Zubie. Now, after six months, the crack is almost completely gone.

Bryan is the proprietor of Farrier-Friendly™. For over 30 years, he has been “combining the skills of horseshoeing, teaching, and riding.” He is the author of Farrier-Friendly™ book series and is a freelance writer for horse magazines and websites throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Welcome Bryan!

GM: You have an extensive horse history, with ties to Meredith Manor Equestrian Center, Waverly, West Virginia, where you were a director/instructor for 14 years. Then to Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, where you were an adjunct farrier instructor for six years, all while conducting clinics, creating a product line, writing books and articles. Plus, you have an extensive list of clients! Now with over 30 years of horsemanship and farrier experience, your expertise shines. When was your first encounter with a horse?
BF: The first real lasting memory was my first trail ride with the grown-ups.  I was ten years old. The pony that was to babysit me was named Joey, he was older than me by about five or more years and he was by far a better swimmer than I. As I recall, the river we were attempting to cross that day was raging, however as a few of my family members, along on the ride that day, will attest to the fact that this raging river was more of a shallow stream. As Joey the pony swam-out from under me, I was certain that I was going to drown. While flailing about, I suddenly heard the shout-out of one simple instruction… “just stand-up”!   As a kid, my cousins and I would spend at least a few weeks each summer playing around the farm and there were times that ponies were in the mix. 

GM: Tell us about your horse history and the horses you currently stable...
BF: Though I had mostly random, summertime encounters with horses as I was growing up, it wasn’t until I was a young adult of 20 years before I was able to devote more quality time with horses. I learned what it took to care for a horse. I learned how a good horse could also take care of a person, as well. I remember a half-Arab named Rhett. He was a well-trained, veteran endurance horse and he got me through my first 25 mile experience. He, of course, was a solid 50 and 100 miler, so he did this ride with ease.  Me, on the other hand, not so much! Another horse named Wokon, was an older school master dressage horse that I had the privilege to ride for several years while I was on the teaching staff as a farrier at Meredith Manor Equestrian School. You might say he took me under his wing, as I attempted to learn the basics of that sport. He was always willing to break into a maneuver that I had no idea about. He certainly motivated me to learn and just try and keep up with “his” program! These days, my wife and I have two horses. When needed, my wife’s horse Angel will “volunteer” to help me out as a foot model for an occasional article illustration and at times has helped me do hoof care demonstrations for riding/pony clubs or just interested visitors. 

GM: Working on-the-go, meeting lots of people, and always different horses - how do you maintain schedules, horses, emergencies, and adverse situations?
BF: When I speak with young farriers, one thing that I emphasize is the importance of keeping an organized and a “do-able” schedule. In the beginning, it’s far too easy to overextend yourself and get caught in situations that are over your head. As first-year farriers, I always recommend that they work primarily with a seasoned, establish farrier.  The best way to learn about all those different people and horses is through a respected mentor. There are many situations that just aren’t in a textbook and can’t be simulated in a classroom setting. As far as maintaining a good schedule, personally, I must admit that I have gotten much better with that and also better at communicating, thanks to my smart phone and social media. Incorporating the use of a text messaging system for my client’s appointment reminders has been a big help.

GM: I'm sure you have lots of stories to tell about being a farrier. What event/scenario stands out the most from your career to date?  
BF: I feel that I’ve been very fortunate to have so many great memories, having worked with and study from many top-notch professionals: from the best farrier educators, lameness experts and veterinarians, to top trainers. But there is one experience that still stands out. During my first year as a working farrier, I was called to shoe a pony. As I spoke to the owner to arrange my visit, all seemed straight-forward, so the date was set.  When I arrived, the pony was hanging out with her rider, an eight year old little girl. As I proceeded to get my tools set-up, I noticed the mother was negotiating and then finally demanded that the little girl go into the house until the job was done. Still not thinking that much was unusual, I began. The owner quickly offered that the pony has been difficult to work with in the past and sure enough, it was. Within minutes, I realized that this would be more of a training session. As I began to demonstrate some of the basic leading approach and positioning that would be necessary to safely and more easily pick-up the feet (which today is the basis of my Farrier-Friendly ™ method), I noticed the pony suddenly became more relaxed and began to cooperate. With a good strategy, and perhaps a little luck, I was able to complete the job that day without incident. With this, I felt real good about what I/we were able to accomplish. But, actually what made this scenario the most outstanding for me was what occurred as I was packing up my tools.  Suddenly, I turned as I heard a little girl yell out. “Hey, mister! Wait, wait! I have something for you.” As she approached, I noticed she had a little piggy-bank in her hands. She insisted that I take her money and that I promise to comeback. Being a bit surprised, the mother spoke up and explained how several other farrier visits by others went so badly that it traumatized her daughter. On this day, even though mom sent her into the house as a precaution before I started my work, she was watching us through a window. Apparently, the little girl had a plan, since she was happy with the outcome, and was not going to take no for an answer. The mother continued to explain and asked me to please take some of her money, so I agreed. As I stood by my truck, I extended my hand and on that day, I accepted a few dollars in coins as a commitment to a little girl and her pony. I would shoe the pony for a few more years until the pony eventually passed away and the little girl gradually became busy with other interests.

GM: As a seasoned farrier, what is the most important hoof care information that horse owners need to know?
BF: Probably the single most important piece of advice I can offer is keep your horse on a routine farrier schedule. Regardless, of whether they are shod or barefoot, a visit by your farrier every 6-8 weeks can often prevent many issues. Do not wait until a problem arises. Relaying on a “damage control only” approach to hoof care is never as effective as a preemptive one. A farrier that is familiar with your horse can spot many early warning signs that can be acted upon to save you and your horse a lot of pain and grief in the long run. Such issues, like sole bruises, thrush, abscesses, tendonitis, Navicular Syndrome and Dietary Laminitis (just to mention a few), are all preventable in their earliest stage.
GM: Do hoof supplements really matter if I am feeding quality horse feed? How much does hay factor in to hoof care?
BF: I would say that supplements for horses can be thought of like multivitamin tablets for us. For it to be the most effective, it’s important to keep a good base diet and to maintain an appropriate exercise regimen. Feeding your horse a good diet that is higher in fiber and less in carbohydrates, which can be offered in a combination of grain and hay is the best approach. Often, this may require consulting your equine vet or nutritionist.    Certain signs can be noticed in your horse’s feet that can tell you if his diet is right. A nice shine on the outer wall, a flexible coronary band, a well-formed frog and a solid sole are all indicators of good health in general. I often remind people that horses’ hooves are like a window into the state of their health.

GM: Do you have advice for those seeking to become a farrier and looking for a full-time career?
BF: Yes. It’s important that a person realize that he/she must not just be a mechanic, of sorts, for the horse, but also in many ways a horseperson at heart. The farrier profession is more than just pounding iron and nailing on shoes. Learning how horses move and how they think are two skills that will determine your success. If a person is looking to become a full-time farrier then there will be many hats to wear, such as a businessman, consultant, craftsman, communicator… just to mention a few.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you? 
BF: In a nutshell, it means EVERYTHING. Without it nothing can happen. Horsemanship is always a two-way street. Both horse owner and farrier must be devoted to it and practice it in order to do the best for our horses. A book published in 1889 titled:  The Practical Horseshoer by M.T. Richardson is a good example of the importance of being a good horseman, first and a horseshoer, second. Many people forget that the art of horseshoeing is best performed when the farrier has the whole horse in mind.  Horsemanship is like any other tool in a farrier’s box, it must be honed or sharpened from time-to-time to give the best results.

Bryan is a Certified Journeyman farrier through the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA) and holds a certification in Equine Massage Therapy. Over the years, Bryan has been an instructor for several equine programs at various higher learning institutions. He briefly served as an Equine Science guest instructor at Salem International University in Salem, West Virginia. He holds a Master of Arts degree with a specialization in equine education and a Bachelor of Science degree in business. Bryan is committed to furthering the advancement of equine education and, upon invitation, he offers Hoof Care demonstrations and Horsemanship clinics for horse owners. He currently works with horses and their owners in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania USA.

Gina McKnight is a freelance writer from Ohio USA.