Holman Ranch Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room in Carmel Valley Celebrates Earth Day

Wine, Wine, Wine.  There is nothing more relaxing than a glass of Holman Ranch Vineyards wine to celebrate Earth Day – the vineyard is SIP Certified.  Join us on Friday, April 22nd at our tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road and enjoy buy one get one complimentary glass of our SIP certified, earth-friendly wine.  The first 22 customers in honor of Earth Day will receive a complimentary tasting.

“While many consumers are dedicated to looking for wines labeled as ‘green wine’ or ‘organic wine’ SIP Certification is a unique combination beyond those two labels. Imagine a wine that builds community between vineyards, workers and the land.”

The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is available for private events. 831-659-2640   www.holmanranch.com


From Wearing White To Obnoxious Smartphone Behavior, The Top DONT’S For Wedding Guests

Weddings are steeped in tradition and etiquette, with centuries-old rituals that define proper decorum for guests. Some are more obvious than others. Now that we’re heading into prime wedding season, here is a list of the Top 8 DONT’S to keep in mind when you attend your next wedding.

Please don’t:

Wear white: This one should be a no-brainer, but please don’t be that girl who upstages the bride. You’ve got a million color combinations to choose from; you don’t need to wear white. Even if the bride isn’t wearing white, that doesn’t mean you can. This is her day, after all.

  1. Crash the bride’s room: Friends outside the immediate bridal party love to crash the bride’s dressing room to wish her well. The gesture is gracious — but the timing isn’t. If you weren’t invited to hang out with the bride, wait to share your congratulations at the wedding.
  2. Misuse your smartphone: Common sense says that guests should leave their smartphone at home. From snapping photos during the ceremony, to posting pics of the bride and groom on social media without asking, guests with phones can be disruptive and rude. Memo: Switch your phone to airplane mode and just watch.
  3. Bring a date without permission: Unless it says “plus one” on the invitation, go solo. And no, do not call the bride and ask if you can bring a date. If it were in their budget, the bride and groom would extended the extra invitation.
  4. Assume kids are welcome: Because it’s considered bad etiquette, a couple usually won’t write “adults only” on their invitations. Instead, the onus is on you to interpret the wording on the envelope. If it’s addressed to “The Smith Family” or if the names of the children are listed individually on the inner envelope, you are free to bring the rugrats. If not, splurge for a babysitter.
  5. Bring a large gift to the wedding: The last thing the bride and groom — and their families — need to worry about at the end of the reception is figuring out how to fit all their gifts in the car. Save them the trouble by shipping yours directly to their home.
  6. Change your seat: Some guests sift through the seating cards to find out who is sitting where. Figuring out a seating plan is difficult enough having to deal with musical chairs (or requests for a change). Stay put.
  7. Drink too much. Weddings are celebrations and many guests get carried away with all the free alcohol. The bridal party doesn’t want to manage your lack of management, or face the embarrassment of a slobbery drunk acting like an imbecile. Watch how much you drink, and if you plan on letting loose, at least arrange for your own transportation.

Hold Your Horses! Here Are The Top 10 Books With Equestrian Themes

No one can deny that horses are majestic creatures of beauty, and have inspired writers through the ages. Few have not been awed by the sight of these powerful, independent beasts galloping through a field. This can inspire us to live our lives at a higher level, and that theme has run through books old and new.

Following is a thoughtful list of the Top 10 books ever written (for adults) about horses:

10) “The Horse and His Boy,” by C.S. Lewis

This classic is for those who loved the “Chronicles of Narnia” but thought they needed more talking horses. “The Horse and his Boy” tells the story of young Shasta and his companion, the talking horse Bree, who journey together to Narnia in search of freedom. This tale is the only one set entirely in the world of Narnia and featuring only Narnian characters.

9) “Black Beauty,” by Anna Sewell

This quintessential horse book may be more geared toward children, but the life of Black Beauty, the cruelty he suffered and his unbreakable spirit will tug at the heartstrings of adult readers as well. First published in 1877, the book holds up well in modern times, especially among those who value animal rights.

8) “Horse Heaven,” by Jane Smiley

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Smiley describes the world of horse-racing in almost anthropological detail. She sheds light on a world full of intrigue, danger, risk, and gambling, and while the people may be fascinating enough, it is her loving description of the horses that makes this book a keeper. You’ll be cheering for every horse and will never watch a horse race in the same way again.

7) “National Velvet,” by Enid Bagnold

This is a classic underdog story that touches upon wider themes of family loyalty and ambition. Largely eclipsed by the 1944 film, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Velvet in the novel is a little grittier and less glamorous, but her determination is just as inspiring as she fights to win England’s Grand National Steeplechase. It’s a fun read for kids and adults alike, full of general horse knowledge, action, and a charming coming- of-age story.

6) “Summer of the Redeemers,” by Carolyn Haines

For readers who are a bit older and ready for a little mystery, romance and danger with their horses, this is a fast-paced, gripping read. Set in a small Mississippi town where several suspicious newcomers — including a mysterious young woman who seems to love horses more than anything else, and a secretive religious group — have arrived to shake things up, this creepy, well-written tale is a page-turner.

5) “Horse People,” by Michael Korda

This New York Times Notable Book is part memoir and part non-fiction examination of horse people and their culture. The author takes the reader through the horses in his life, all over the United States, from English to Western, broken-down nags to expensive show horses, and everywhere in between. Using knowledge, dry humor and rich portraits of horses and their people, this book will appeal to everyone. 

4) “Seabiscuit, an American Legend,” by Laura Hillenbrand

The underdog always wins us over, and Seabiscuit is no exception. The unlikely trio of the little crooked-leg horse, the half-crippled jockey, and the mysterious cowboy horse-trainer makes for an unexpected success story. Hillenbrand creates a gripping nonfiction tale that will have you on the edge of your seat cheering. 

3) “King of the Wind: the Story of the Godolpin Arabian,” by Marguerite Henry

Everyone knows that Thoroughbreds are lightning-fast horses we see on race tracks. But not everyone knows that they are descended from a handful of Arabian horses, including Sham, the star of “King of the Wind.” Sham was sent from the Middle East to England as a gift, and considered worthless for most of his life. This underdog story will worm its way into your heart. 

2) “The Black Stallion,” by Walter Farley

The series chronicles the story of an Arab sheik’s prized stallion that falls into the possession of teenager Alec Ramsay. In the series’ first book, Alec, returning from India and a visit to his uncle, becomes stranded on a desert island with an untamed, apparently wild black stallion, after their ship sinks. Dependent on each other for survival, the boy and horse learn to trust and love each other as they establish an amazingly strong and close lifelong emotional bond. 

1) “The Red Pony,” by John Steinbeck

While at first glance this short novel may seem like just another children’s pony book, Steinbeck’s will prove just as mesmerizing to adults. One of Steinbeck’s earlier novels, the story is broken into four distinct parts following a period in the life of young Jody, a boy growing up on a ranch in California. Jody loves horses, and he learns some of life’s hardest lessons from them, a hallmark quality of Steinbeck’s work.

Is “Natural” Wine An Unadulterated Nod To The Past, Or Just A Marketing Gimmick?

vineyards slice

Consumers believe that food products labeled “natural” are better and healthier than others, but are often confused about what the label actually means. Does it mean it’s organic, with no artificial ingredients? Is the food unprocessed? Is it pure?

Truth be told, the lack of a definition, and the lack of quality standards, keeps everyone in the dark.

When it comes to wine, natural has grown to mean: “without chemical and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine.” The term is used to distinguish such wine from organic wine and biodynamic wine because of differences in cellar practices.

Most good winemakers see themselves as non-interventionist, or natural. They try to use as few additives or manipulations as possible. But using the strict definition, natural wine practitioners insist the product is made,

  •  in small quantities,
  •  by an independent producer,
  •  on low-yielding vineyards,
  •  from hand-picked, organically grown grapes,
  •  without added sugars or foreign yeast,
  •  without adjustments for acidity,
  •  without micro-oxygenation or reverse-osmosis.

Natural wines go beyond their organic and biodynamic counterparts, landing in a “non-industrial” category. The difference is in the process. Organically certified wines indicate that the process of growing the grapes is organic. What happens afterwards is up to the winemaker. This is the stage where things get added: manufactured yeast, additives and sulfites. Natural wine is concerned with what happens after the grapes are picked, adding little or no sulfites, and avoiding commercial yeasts.

As the world of marketing brings us terms such as organic and artisan, natural might sound like yet another marketing ploy. Proponents say this isn’t a new trend, but rather a return to traditional winemaking standards from the past.

Others argue that without sulfur, wines spoil. Italian gastronomy magazine Gambero Rosso wrote: “We sincerely hope that Italian wine lovers will not be subjected to what has been happening in France: an invasion of so-called ‘natural’ wines — in other words, so called ‘zero sulfur’ wines — with the complicity of numerous sommeliers, wine merchants and irresponsible journalists …”

Since there is no official certification for natural wines, the definition of the term can be interpreted differently, and there are plenty of viticulturists of natural wine who choose not to brand their product as natural, instead opting to highlight the fact that their wines are produced by smaller, artisanal growers.

A better alternative may be certification by independent groups such as SIP Certified. When consumers see the SIP seal on wines such as those produced at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, they know that growers are preserving and protecting the natural environment, treating their employees and community with care, and have sound business practices with a long-term view that protects both the present and the future. Conscientious consumers have a choice they can make — one that supports both the land and the people that create their favorite wines.

From The Fridge Test To Deep-Frying, Five Surprising Answers To Common Questions About Olive Oil

American consumption of olive oil has been rising steadily for decades, but how much do we really know about this wonder food? Here are answers to five common questions about one of the world’s most healthful foods:

  • Does the fridge test work? There is much debate about whether much of the extra virgin olive oil on the market is authentic or fake. To test the legitimacy of a supposed olive oil, folks swear by the fridge test, that calls for chilling the bottle for a few days. The belief has long been that if the oil begins to solidify, it’s true extra virgin olive oil. Pure monounsaturated fat, also known as oleic acid, solidifies at 39 degrees. Since olive oil is primarily oleic acid (about 70-85 percent, generally), the fridge test should work. Certain original olive oil adulterants, including sunflower and safflower oils, are mostly polyunsaturated, so adulterating olive oil used to be easy to spot. Now, with high-oleic canola, sunflower and safflower oils,, adulterated olive oil can still solidify in the fridge. So toss out any oils that fail the test, but it’s no longer full-proof.
  • Does light olive oil have fewer calories and fat than regular olive oil? Unfortunately, no. This marketing term does not refer to the calorie or fat gram count, but rather the ratio of extra-virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. All olive oil has 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, even if the label describes it as light or extra light. Light refers to the color and flavor of the oil, not its calorie or fat content. If you look closely at the label on the bottle, it should say this.
  • What does the color of the oil tell us? Olive oil naturally comes in a range of colors, from pale yellow to deep golden to green, and might change slightly over time as it oxidizes. The more chlorophyll present in the oil, the greener the product. Green oils tend to be higher in antioxidants and have a more intense peppery flavor with just a hint of bitterness. Color also depends on the olive cultivars, the degree of maturation of the olives and factors relating to the production processes. The bottom line? Color is not an indication of quality.
  • Are cloudy olive oils safe to consume? Olive oil can appear cloudy for many reasons, but mostly it’s indicative of an unfiltered oil (which just means the sediment and pulp was not removed). Cold olive oil also can take on a cloudy appearance. The sediment in unfiltered olive oils is nothing more than pieces of olive that actually add flavor to the oil, and poses no threat. To clear olive oil that has become cloudy because of temperature, just leave out at room temperature. The saturated fat that congealed in the cold will settle naturally.
  • Is it possible to fry foods in olive oil? Most people will not fry with olive oil, warning of its lower smoke point compared to peanut or corn oil, which are more often used for frying. Once oil reaches its smoke point, it can release toxic compounds that should not be consumed in large quantities. However, refined olive oil has a smoke point of 486 degrees, making it suitable for deep frying, but it’s not advisable to fry using extra-virgin olive oil.

Sip, Swirl, Savor and Learn The Fifth Annual “In Your Backyard” Series Brought To You By Edible Monterey Bay And Holman Ranch Announces Its March 16th Class

Sip, Swirl, Savor and Learn

The Fifth Annual “In Your Backyard” Series Brought to you by

Edible Monterey Bay and Holman Ranch

Announces Its March 16th Class 

March 16th, 6:00 PM – Chef Brandon Miller from Mundaka in Carmel-by-the-Sea will celebrate National Paella Day by taking you on a culinary journey through Spain and teach you the tips and secrets of how to make traditional Spanish Paella.   The charity partner is the Food Bank for Monterey County.  The Food Bank for Monterey County is the largest provider of emergency supplemental food in Monterey County. Our mission is “to lead community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey County.” The food bank solicits, collects, stores, and redistributes food to individuals as well as non-profit agencies that serve the aged, ill, and needy.  http://www.foodbankformontereycounty.org/


CARMEL, CA (February 2016)  Inspired by the culinary bounty of California’s Central Coast, Holman Ranch Tasting Room, located at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley Village, is working with Edible Monterey Bay to invite local culinary chefs and artisans to demonstrate how wine can be best complemented with fresh culinary products found throughout the Central Coast.

The “In Your Backyard” series brought to you by Edible Monterey Bay and Holman Ranch will have chefs, farmers sand foragers sharing their tips and techniques for finding the perfect, fresh ingredients for preparing truly memorable meals, side dishes as well as understanding flavor pairings. From paella to abalone and sea vegetable demos, the series will showcase local experts’ knowledgeable on everything from how to select the best meats to creating savory pastries with ingredients from the local Farmers Market. Each demonstration will offer recommendations for the best wine to pair with the featured culinary item.

Here is a sneak peek at our 2016 schedule, partners and charity beneficiaries:

  • March 16th, 6:00 PM – Chef Brandon Miller from Mundaka in Carmel-by-the-Sea will celebrate National Paella Day by taking you on a culinary journey through Spain and teach you the tips and secrets of how to make traditional Spanish Paella.   The charity partner is the Food Bank for Monterey County.  The Food Bank for Monterey County is the largest provider of emergency supplemental food in Monterey County. Our mission is “to lead community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey County.” The food bank solicits, collects, stores, and redistributes food to individuals as well as non-profit agencies that serve the aged, ill, and needy. 


  • April 20th at 6:00 PM – Chef Brad Briske from La Balena in Carmel-by-the-Sea will do a grass fed nose-to-tail, cooking demo!  The charity partner will be MEarth.  MEarth is an environmental education nonprofit with roots in Carmel Valley, California, that is growing the next generation of environmental leaders through education, collaboration, partnerships and community action. We educate and inspire through environmental stewardship.  http://mearthcarmel.org/
  • May 18th Aubergine’s Ron Mendoza will lead you in creating fabulous desserts. The evening will benefit Everyone’s Harvest, bringing people and healthy food together through certified farmers’ markets and community food programs. www.everyonesharvest.org
  • June 15th will feature Kenneth Macdonald from Edgars at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley who will take you from garden to table, discussing how to plant your garden with your menus in mind and providing tips for cooking your harvest. The evening will benefit Ag Against Hunger, which channels surplus fruits and vegetables from farms in our area to those in need. www.agagainsthunger.org
  •   July 14th, 6:00 PM – John Cox with Sierra Mar at Post Ranch in Big Sur and Trevor Fay of Monterey Abalone Co. will take up the theme “Cooking the Big Sur Coast,” showing you how to cook our local abalone and sea vegetables, and sharing how Monterey Abalone raises the iconic gastropod and forages for sea vegetables and rare seafood in Monterey Bay.   Charity Partner is the Grower Shipper Foundation.  The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that provides education and information on the agriculture industry as well as offering innovative programs to our community outreach.  We are here to make our community aware of the positive impact agriculture makes to all our lives.  Help us to be a part of the solution to educate, inform and inspire.  www.growershipperfoundation.org

Reservations are required for all classes and the cost for each event is $25 per person. Classes are $10 for wine club members.  Class size is limited to 25 attendees.  This includes the class, wine tasting, small bites, and meeting, learning and sampling from a local artisan. A portion of the class proceeds will benefit the local charity organizations. To make reservations call 831-659-2640 or email info@holmanranch.com.

Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley Village Tasting Room is the perfect backdrop to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines while learning about the culinary bounty available in your own backyard. The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is available for private events.

About Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery:

Located at the north eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for our vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate. Holman Ranch estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 acres of undulating terrain. The wines produced are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle. The climate and terroir of the appellation has played a critical part in the success of their wines. The warmth of the inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has proven to be an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The vineyards’ Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils.

The estate wines of Holman Ranch include: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our trees has a delightfully distinctive flavor.

Holman Ranch: Where the Past is Always Present. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning mountain views and serenity, this private estate affords old-world charm while providing modern day conveniences. This stunning property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and more. www.holmanranch.com

About Edible Monterey Bay

Founded in 2011, Edible Monterey Bay produces a beautiful quarterly magazine and weekly email newsletter celebrating the local food cultures of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, season by season. It also promotes local and sustainable regional food cultures through outstanding food and wine-themed events. For more information, go to www.ediblemontereybay.com or call (831) 298-7117.

From The Color Gold To Personalized Cocktails, Here’s What Hot In Weddings For 2016

From the rise of bridal separates to the influx of overflowing bouquets and exotic food trucks, 2015 was a big year for the “big day.” But with spring right around the corner, we can’t help but look forward to the biggest wedding trends for 2016.

 So, what matrimonial must-haves will couples obsess over? Here is a list of trends culled from wedding planners all over the country:

  • Personalized weddings: Recent years have seen brides rush to recreate their version of a royal wedding or something straight off a Pinterest board. But this year it’s clear brides are much more interested in going down the aisle their own way. Couples today want a wedding that showcases who they are, that’s a fun experience for their guests and that won’t look or feel dated.
  • Golden color scheme: Metallics are surprisingly versatile, depending on how and where they are brought into the celebration. They can be elegant, whimsical, ethereal or even very natural.” No matter the venue or theme, designers across the country say rose gold will show up on everything from rings to table linens. Even the food and drink get in on the trend, with shiny blush icings on desserts and rose-hued cocktails. One metallic that is on the wane, however, is silver.
  • Flower power: The right mix of style and simplicity will be the cornerstone of fabulous wedding floral arrangements this year. Arrangements that feature both seasonal flowers and whatever grows locally are gaining traction. Wild, free-form bouquets and  centerpieces often include a mix of big and small blossoms in more than one color, and might use spiky flowers as exclamation points.
  • Remain seated: Couples are moving away from a reception layout based on large round tables, which has a tendency to feel too much like a conference event, and are instead opting for either very long, rectangular tables or a mix of long tables surrounded by smaller square and round tables ― all for a more intimate vibe. And lounge areas, complete with comfortable seating options, will remain a crucial part of the cocktail and after-party hours.
  • We’ll drink to that: What better way to give your guests a glimpse of who you are than by serving them your favorite libations? The trend of his-and-her cocktails is not only easier on the budget (no more guesstimating for an open bar) but it’s an instant conversation starter. As far as wine goes, rosé is fast becoming a mainstay at weddings. Couples are including it in the wine selection at dinner, serving rosé champagne for toasts or offering a variety of rosés from different regions as a sampling during the cocktail hour.
  • On a roll: Food stations that were all the rage even up to last year have conceded to the classic sit-down dinner. But that doesn’t mean guests are stuck in their seats. To keep things interesting, caterers are bringing back gueridon service, where servers arrive at the dinner table with a cart filled with all the makings for customizable appetizers and desserts ― everything from Caesar salads, pastas and tartares to gelato, doughnuts and milk-and-cookies.
  • National Park weddings: Rustic brides and grooms are taking their love for the outdoors to a whole new level by having their weddings in a national park (very timely as 2016 is the National Park Service Centennial). National parks are the perfect backdrop for picturesque wedding ceremonies and receptions. Outdoor, back-to-nature weddings will be huge this year, with couples leaving the church to wed in God’s country.

Decanting Forces Wine Drinkers To “Air” On The Side Of Caution

Because wine is technically alive in the bottle, it stands to reason that it needs to breathe. And that’s where a decanter comes in.

What’s a decanter, you ask? It’s a stoppered glass vessel into which wine is poured and allowed to “settle” for a while. Decanting is not just for wine drinkers who live in stately homes, or for decades-old bottles worth thousands of dollars. Anyone who wants the best from their wine should own a decanter. And it’s not just for show. Even in this modern age of industrial, fined and filtered wines, many wines will still benefit from spending some time in a decanter.

Decanting is one of those elements of wine service that intimidates many drinkers. Which wines need it? And is it necessary or just a bit of wine pomp and circumstance?

The basics of decanting

Fundamentally, decanting serves two purposes — to dissipate any sediment that may have formed and to aerate a wine in the hope that its aromas and flavors will mature.

Older red wines and vintage ports naturally produce sediment as they age as color pigments and tannins bond together. Stirring up the sediment when pouring will cloud a wine’s appearance and can impart bitter flavors and a gritty texture. Even inexpensive wines plucked from the shelves of the local supermarket can benefit from decanting, especially if a first taste reveals a tannic, grippy, youthful structure.

Decanting is simply the process of separating this sediment from the clear wine. It’s fairly safe to assume that a red will have accumulated sediment after 5 to 10 years in the bottle, and should be decanted.

How to decant

  •  Set the bottle upright for 24 hours before drinking, so the sediment can slide to the bottom.
  •  Pour the wine into the decanter slowly and steadily, without stopping; when you get to the bottom half of the bottle, pour even more slowly.
  •  Stop as soon as you see the sediment reach the neck of the bottle. Sediment isn’t always chunky and obvious; stop if the wine’s color becomes cloudy or if you see what looks like specks of dust in the neck.
  •  The wine is now ready to serve. Discard the remaining ounce or two of sediment-filled liquid in the bottle.

A particularly fragile or old wine (especially one 15 or more years old) should only be decanted 30 minutes or so before drinking. A younger, more vigorous, full-bodied red wine — and sometimes even whites — can be decanted an hour or more before serving. At some tastings, wines are decanted for hours beforehand and often turn out well. These experiments can be risky (the wine could end up oxidized) and are best done by those familiar with how those wines age and evolve.

If you’re curious about the decanting process, buy a decanter (prices range from $15 to more than $100), and, experiment with multiple bottles of the same wine. Decant one and pour the other straight from the bottle, or decant the same wines for different lengths of time. It should become clear that every serious wine drinker needs to “air” on the side of caution.

Taking Care Of A Horse’s Coat Essential In Overall Health Approach

The condition of a horse’s coat and skin are generally a reflection of its overall health. A healthy horse will have a shiny, even haircoat without excess oiliness or dryness. Its winter coat will be longer and thicker, and should shed out completely in the spring.

The skin is the largest and one of the most important organs of the horse’s body, making up 12-24 percent of its total weight. It varies from 1½ inches thick on the lower back and rump, to less than ½ inch on the head and underbelly.

Since the skin and coat are so visible, disorders are readily detected during an examination. Dry skin or a dull haircoat can be caused by a number of conditions including:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Parasites, both internal and external
  • Allergies
  • Poor nutrition (e.g., low protein, diet poor in fatty acids)

Managing dry skin and dull coats

If your horse has an unhealthy coat or skin condition, work with your veterinarian to find the underlying cause. Once diagnosed, you can develop a management plan that may include:

  • Treating any underlying medical condition
  • Starting a regular and/or parasite prevention program
  • Grooming your horse regularly; removing the dead hair and skin flakes and distributing the natural oils through the coat
  • Shampooing with the appropriate product for your horse’s particular condition
  • Supplementing or correcting the diet and balancing your horse’s ration to include at least 12 percent protein and ensuring adequate amounts of fat

Common ingredients in skin supplements include Vitamin A, B and E, biotin, lysine, zinc and methionine. But, oddly enough, a horse also needs copper to help maintain a healthy coat.

Copper an essential trace mineral

Copper plays a vital role in many processes within a horse’s body. For example, there are copper dependent enzymes involved in the synthesis and maintenance of elastic connective tissue. Copper is necessary for the mobilization of stored iron in the body and also detoxifies superoxide, a compound deployed by the immune system to kill invading microorganisms.

Also, coat color is determined by the presence and proportion of melanin pigments. As it turns out, the enzyme responsible for melanin production — tyrosinase — is copper-dependent. This enzyme derived from the amino acid tyrosine results in brown and black pigments. Many coat colors have some level of brown and black in them, including buckskins, chestnuts, bays and blacks. The latter two colors are also influenced by zinc.

Depigmentation of the coat may indicate low copper or zinc status. Typically, when copper is low, chestnut coats will appear to have a yellow tone to them and black coats will have a rust appearance. You might especially notice this color shift in a horse’s mane. Coats appear to fade over time due to ultraviolet light causing damage to the pigment leading to color change. If pigment levels are high, coats have greater resistance to damage.

Dietary sources

Common feedstuffs that are fed to horses vary widely in their Cu content. Can molasses has one of the highest concentrations of Cu. Due to this, its inclusion in feeds in a minimal amount can be beneficial. However, due to its high sugar content, if it is included in large amounts, the negatives outweigh the positives.

It is vital that a horse owner talk to a veterinarian or qualified large-animal specialist when it comes to maintaining the proper diet, and the minimum daily requirements of important supplemental vitamins and minerals.

Renewing Your Vows Makes A Strong Statement — If Done Correctly

Saying “I do” is a life-changing experience, but it can equally rewarding when a couple says “I do, Take 2!”

For married couples it is a time to pause and reflect on where they have been and where they are going. It is also a wonderful example to set for their children and/or grandchildren. It’s a touching scene when children watch their parents join hands and hearts as they affirm the magnitude and strength of their enduring love (a great life/love lesson).

For generations couples have engaged in vow renewals, a fine way to celebrate a marriage many years in the making. In a society where 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, couples seek to rejoice in milestones, be it 10, 25 or 50 years together. They want the world to know that they’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

A reaffirmation can take place literally anytime after the actual wedding — the next day or 30 years later. But you don’t want to renew too soon or too often, unless you’ve eloped and would like to make your vows public upon your return. Otherwise, be sure to reserve the occasion for significant milestone years.

There are many reason to renew your wedding vows:

  • You were married in a different country and want to celebrate your marriage locally with family and friends.
  • It is a special anniversary, such as your 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, etc.
  • You and your spouse have had a difficult time and want to start fresh.
  • The two of you want to make a public statement of your love and commitment to each other.
  • You originally had a civil ceremony, and you want to have a religious ceremony now.

There are some definite do’s and don’ts surrounding wedding renewals. It is recommended that you DO NOT have:

  •  A gift registry.
  •  A shower.
  •  Bachelor or bachelorette parties
  •  Attendants such as a maid of honor or best man.
  •  A procession down the aisle.
  •  A tiered wedding cake.
  • New rings.

It is recommend that you exchange vows, although try to keep them casual and simple. If you write your own vows, don’t draw attention to negativity in your past. Focus on your future together.

Walk toward one another from sides of the room or area rather than having a procession down a center aisle. When it comes to rings, re-dedicate them or have the rings blessed. And, finally, the reception should be fun and casual, with no gifts.

Who hosts?

Many couples host their own renewals, and some have their children do the honors. A growing trend has the couple’s closest friends, perhaps the original maid of honor and best man, host the event.

Where should it be?

You can renew your vows in a house of worship, at home, on the beach, in a pretty garden or park, or perhaps a local resort with plenty of outdoor space — basically, anywhere that has sentimental meaning for both of you.

Who officiates?

Because a vow renewal isn’t a legally binding ceremony like a wedding is, virtually anyone you’d like can officiate the ceremony: a clergyperson, a judge, your children, a close relative or even close friends.