New Year Stable Renovations

In many ways, Houston still resembles the wild west. One thing the city is known for is farmland, and with any good farm comes stables. Stables are full of many things. Horses, usually, are on that list. But things like hay and feed, as well as other animals can be on the short list. One thing that is normally not on that list is asbestos. That substance is most likely reserved for structures like old buildings and homes. However, the team at asbestos abatement houston knows that the hazardous material is found in many older structures, including stable in houston

One of my dearest friends had a beloved farm complete with horses, pigs and chickens. She planned to do a few upgrades to her stable before the work came to a halt before it even began. It turned out that one side of her stable contained asbestos in the insulation. She was devastated because she was concerned that her animals had been exposed to the toxic material. However, once the asbestos removal crew came out for a quick assessment, she was happy to learn that her animals had not been exposed at all. That is because the asbestos they found was still intact and undisturbed. In that state, asbestos poses little to no health risk to people or animals. It is when the substance is disturbed that it releases toxins into the air that can cause health issues such as difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks. Exposure over time can lead to cancer of the lungs, including mesothelioma.

She was able to have the asbestos safely removed after having a team come out and assess her stable. One of the funniest things she had to deal with during this renovation was the relocation of her animals. Even though Houston is full of stables, there are few that have openings to house extra animals, even for a night. She had to arrange transport of three horses, four pigs and half a dozen chickens. Of course, the chickens were the easiest to relocate. She actually had room in her backyard to house them. It was a bit awkward having the there temporarily, but it was the best option. She had to make sure her dog and cat did not sneak outside to mix with the chickens though.

Her pigs and horses were a bit harder to relocate. Eventually, she split the two animals up between a close friend who took her horses and a neighbor with a farm located down the road from her. The asbestos removal process took about four days and was successful. She had her animals back in their stable in no time.

Asbestos abatement in Farms

Are there any farms in the US old enough to need asbestos removal? Sure there are. Are there any farms left in the deep south that would need asbestos testing? Again, that’s a sure bet. That is why when my friend decided to buy a farm, I told her she needed to click this link and call them in order to really know if she was getting a good buy.

Now, let me back up a bit. My friend grew up in Kentucky on a farm. She comes from a long line of equestrians who breed, show and love horses. So, her interest in buying a farm made perfect sense to me. After all, there is this little thing called The Kentucky Derby that my friend grew up admiring and wanting to recreate for her own life as an adult. For some of our city-bred friends, the thought of owning a farm is like stepping back in time. They would rather visit a vineyard than ride a horse. And, I get it. Farming is a lot of work. It is not like having a garden that you tend to on the weekends and in your free time.asbestos in farm

Also, owning horses is a large responsibility in its own right. Even though my friend grew up on a farm, she had been out of that world for a long time. She went to college and transformed herself into a city girl. She even lived in a high rise condo in downtown Atlanta. So, for her to get back to her roots, so to speak, she needed to find a property that would keep her close to the city, but far enough away to really allow her the space to have a horse farm with some real land.

I went with her to look at real estate on the outskirts of Georgia. When we got to some of the properties, I served as the voice of reason to temper her expectations. That is why I brought up the Atlanta asbestos testing idea. My dad is a contractor and one of his largest clients bought an old structure with the intent to make it into a shopping center. When the client began the demolition process, he realized that he had gotten more than he bargained for when he purchased the structure. It had a bit of a termite problem, mold issues and tested positive for asbestos as well.

My friend ended up buying a horse farm and hired an asbestos testing team to test for the presence of the substance on the premises. She talked to me about the asbestos abatement company she hired and let me know they did a great job. They explained everything they were doing with the testing, why they were doing it and what the positive and negative results meant for her moving forward. In the end, she did not have to hire a removal team because her place did have any traces of the substance.

I have to admit that I never thought I would like visiting a farm, but because it is my friend’s farm, I happen to think it’s pretty cool. Thank goodness she still lives close to the city though. A girl can’t get too accustomed to the smell of country life.

Horses vs Plastic Surgery – Who’s More Expensive?

What do horses and plastic surgery have in common? On the surface, nothing. However if you look a little deeper, you will find that both are prevalent staples among the affluent crowd. That’s because equestrian activities can cost into the hundreds of thousands per year. In fact, owning and showing horses is so expensive that you can find a higher percentage of millionaires and billionaires in the equestrian circuit than you would in any other “common” sport.

While the price of plastic surgery is not nearly as high as owning a horse, procedures like nose reshaping and breast augmentation can still cost a pretty penny. The average cost to own a horse runs anywhere from $1500 to $3000 per month. Sure, cosmetic surgery is a one-time expense, but with more and more patients financing the procedure, the interest can end up costing almost double the original price in the long run. For example, in some Boca Raton cosmetic locations, a breast augmentation procedure can run anywhere from $2900 to $5000 on the lower end, all the way to up $8000 or more on the higher end. Financing that cost at 10% would tack on thousands of dollars extra. The longer the repayment period, the more interest that would be paid toward the original balance.

Most people interested in owning a horse or having plastic surgery are not millionaires and billionaires. Most are regular, everyday working people looking to pursue their passion or enhance their natural beauty. That is why budgeting is so important in each of these scenarios. Financing plastic surgery may sound like a great idea and a simple way to get the results you want now without paying the entire cost upfront. Likewise, leasing a horse may sound like a great alternative to the upfront costs associated with horseback riding and other equestrian activities. However, in order for the everyday person to enjoy horseback riding or the results of their plastic surgery without the stress of lengthy repayment plans, it’s best to budget for the experience.

Solar Powered Barns in Austin, TX

solar panel installWho puts solar panels on a barn? Well, if you are like me and care about saving money, then you do. In fact, lots of unconventional structures like barns, farmhouses, and fire stations are all going green with solar panels.

There are many reasons that farmers and other barn owners are deciding that solar panels are right for them. For the most part, equestrian farm owners are long-term thinkers and planners. They have to be in order to ensure they acquire the right horse breeds, trainers and clientele to keep the business going.  Although it may seem like contradiction, installing solar panels on a barn makes a lot of sense. Barns have ample roof space and open ground space too, so installers can choose a traditional roof placement or less common, but still effective ground-mount system. These are just some of the reasons more and more equestrian farm owners are going solar.

Here’s a short list of what solar energy can do for a farm:

  • Protect operations from rising energy costs
  • Lower and stabilize energy costs by working with utility company
  • Generate additional revenue from a barn, unused ground space, etc.
  • Increase the property value of your farm
  • Make you eligible for tax benefits and incentives from installing solar panels
  • Reduce carbon footprint and conserve energy in other forms

You might think that solar companies are really grasping at straws by installing on barns. While there are not many farms in bigger cities like Washington D.C. or Seattle, there is an entire Midwestern and Southern market that could use solar as a long-term strategy for their business. Solar panels in Austin. Solar panels in Omaha. I could go on and on listing the places where solar panels would benefit farm owners. Overall, with technology changing, farm owners who take advantage of will undoubtedly reap the benefits of solar energy for years to come.

St. Louis Limo Horse?

limo horseIt is not often that you see horse-drawn carriages riding through the streets of your town. That is the kind of thing you expect to see in movies and on shows like The Bachelor, which single-handedly seem to keep that industry in business.  But, I digress.

I am sure it is easy to charter a horse-drawn carriage in cities like New York City and Chicago. However, in St. Louis, limo service is likely to be of the car variety. What if you could combine the old-fashioned service of a horse-drawn carriage with modern limo service? Someone else must have thought of this because, for fun, I Googled “horse + limo” and found some interesting pictures of a limo horse.

Yes. A Limo Horse!

While I am certain that this is a not a real thing, the pictures certainly made it seem real. In my search results, there were pictures of horses with mid-sections stretched to accommodate four and five riders at a time. Clearly, this is not something that anyone should expect or request when calling a limo service. It is something curious and funny to look at if you have some time to waste. Nothing more.

However, if you are looking to rent a real limo in St. Louis, then your best bet is to go here.


Horse Training – Easy or Not?

Good horse training is boring to watch, lets admit that. It appears as though absolutely nothing is happening. Most people are impressed by training methods which are only a blatant series of attacks around the horse as they are dramatic to observe. However, physically dominating a horse will not teach him anything. To practice with  a horse, you must use mental strength, not physical strength.

Training horses begins with understanding how their minds work. You will need to understand a horse’s logic, the way they think. The mind of a horse does not work exactly like a person does. They don’t associate events or even a sequence of actions just like we reason that everything is related. To train a horse, therefore, you will need to appreciate how horse logic works and base your training on that.

Horses animals of prey. They’re in an undesirable position in the food chain and so they know this. Their eyes are outside their heads so they can see danger originating from any direction. If we approach a horse, it’s got no chance of knowing what our actual intent is. It may only observe our actions and make up a decision that it is safe to be put or advisable to flee.

For more information, just contact us here and we’ll be happy to provide you the necessary steps to training.

Horses and Hospice Care

I started looking into horseback riding activities after my mother had to be transferred to hospice care in Atlanta, our hometown. Initially, it was quite a depressing time for all of us and I wanted to find something to help take our minds away from the hospice reality for a bit. Instead of jumping head-first into a high-powered new hobby, I chose horseback riding as a way to deal with the stress of my mother being in hospice care.

*Sidenote – My mother was in very good hands with the Hospice Care Atlanta team. If you and your family are in the Atlanta area, I’d highly suggest you visit their website at (

While she fought her own battle, my mother remained a huge source of encouragement and love to me and my family. When she was healthier, she remained active and even learned to swim in her 50s so she could join her friends at water aerobics. She maintained an appropriate activity level even during her stay at a hospice care facility. She engaged in routine activities and even pushed herself to continue some extracurricular activities during her final days. I felt I owed it to her to continue enjoying new activities.

My advice to anyone is if you are looking to begin horseback riding, find a great facility with trained instructors. Also, anything in the equestrian arena can get pricey. That is why it is important to set a budget. In the event that you fall in love with horseback riding and want to become an avid rider, you will have some idea of how much you can spend on your new activity. And remember, motivation is key. I took motivation from my mother’s hospice care treatment here in Atlanta and used it as fuel to fight back stress and depression during a difficult time. Find something that inspires you to keep going, learning and doing new things and channel that into your newfound horseback riding hobby. Good luck!


Ready to Ride?

Once the snow has settled and we ease back into warmer temperatures, then its time to get riding again. Just like people, that mare tends to be less active in the winter months. So not only does that mare have to get yourself back into shape again. You need to get yourself loosened up too.

fin ball 2 - CopySo where do you start? Well you can spend a ton of money at the gym, but I’d focus on something like pilates. It focuses on the core strength, flexibility and overall control. That is the kind of training that will get you back into riding shape. So if I were you..bring that fancy yoga ball to house with you and get a sweat going.

You might do so well, that your horse wants to get in on the fun!