Image from http://www.bettingpro.com

Image from http://www.bettingpro.com

So you can be the trivia King or Queen this Melbourne Cup Day, here are some fun and interesting facts about the “Race that stops a nation”.

* This year will be the 153rd Melbourne Cup.

* The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 and won by “Archer”.

* Every year the Melbourne Cup is run on the first Tuesday of November at 3pm AEDST. Although it has been postponed twice in 1870 and 1916 because of rain.

* During World War I and World War II the Melbourne Cup was still run, even though most other sporting events were not taking place.

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Two vets examining dogSo you think you might want to become a vet?  You love animals, you respect them, you understand them and you want to help them.  Well perhaps your future is in veterinary medicine.

Becoming a vet in Australia involves a lot of work, usually five to six years of full time study.  There are a few universities in Australia that offer a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, these include;
*  University of Queensland
*  James Cook University – Townsville
*  University of Sydney
*  Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW)
*  University of Melbourne
*  University of Adelaide
*  Murdoch University – Perth, Western Australia

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Riders4HelmetsOver the years I have had my fair share of falls off horses and I have been fortunate enough to never be seriously injured.  My most serious fall resulted in me spending a night in hospital with a concussion.  Thankfully I was wearing my helmet and was very lucky as it could have been a lot worse.  Whenever I ride I always wear my helmet and I instill the same rules on my little girls and my husband (although sometimes he doesn’t listen).

Wearing a helmet is so important when riding as it can save your life.  Did you know that when compared to other sports in Australia, equestrian activities have one of the highest risks of serious injury or death.  I guess it probably isn’t that surprising when you take into consideration factors like; when you fall from a horse your head could be up to 4m of the ground, or that a lot of the dangers, like the horse spooking or misbehaving, can actually be out of your control.  It is important to remember that no matter how quiet or well trained a horse is or how good a rider you are, every time you get on a horse there is some risk involved.  Horses have their own brains and instincts and what they do with these can be out of your control.
So why not control what you can and lessen the chance of serious injury by wearing a helmet.

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IMG_2397Last week we packed up the car and ventured off to the Central Queensland town of Capella.  Capella is a small country town in the Central Highlands of Queensland.  It is a rural town full of good old country hospitality, in the heart of the coal mining and agricultural district.  For a small town Capella has quite a lot to offer.  There is a beautiful aquatic centre with heated swimming pools, bbq’s, mini golf, cafe and much more.  There is an amazing cultural centre where many events, including concerts, are held.  With many other things to explore in Capella, like the Pioneer Village, Capella Parklands and Capella Peak Range it really is a great place to stop and spend a day or more.

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An Iguana sitting on my shoulder

An Iguana sitting on my shoulder

Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy a family holiday to the tropical paradise of Fiji, where we stayed at a beautiful beachfront resort on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu island.

As an animal lover I am always drawn to and interested in seeing and being around animals, wherever I am.  As a first time visitor to Fiji I was very excited to see the local pets and animals and find out a bit about them.  Within only minutes of being in the car in Fiji I was shocked to see a cow in the middle of the road, just as we drove out of the town.  The surprise was obviously evident on my face as our driver had a little chuckle and preceded to tell me that it was quite normal to have animals and livestock on the roads.  As we continued on our one and a half hour drive to the resort it became quite clear that yes in fact it was quite normal for animals to be on the road, crossing the road or on the side of the road.  During the journey we passed a lot of cattle and horses, some of them were tethered to trees or posts but many were just walking freely.  At one stage we came around a corner and right in the middle of the road there was a donkey, just standing there.  The driver had to stop and wait for the donkey to leisurely stroll off the road and then we could pass.  There were also a number of stray dogs wandering the roads. The driver informed me that the locals don’t worry about the stray dogs as they don’t cause too many problems.  What I found most remarkable was the respect and patience that the drivers seemed to have for all the wandering animals.  Drivers slowed down or waited, even without beeping their horns, for the animals to move and I didn’t see any dead or injured animals on the road.

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This Valentines Day don’t forget to share the love with your adoring pets.  Valentines Day is all VDAYBlog
about love, friendship, loyalty and kindness; all the things that your pet shares with you.  So why not show them a little extra TLC this Valentine’s Day.

The bond between a pet and an owner is very special with many benefits for both the human and animal.  Many studies have shown that owning a pet can improve your mental, physical and emotional health.  Pets are great for companionship and improving your mood when lonely, upset or sick.

I know that the bond that I have with my dog Lilly is amazing. Every time I see my beautiful dog running towards me with her ears flapping, tongue hanging out and tail wagging, I can’t help but smile and no matter how I am feeling it always makes me feel a bit happier. Every pet I own, chickens, dog and a number of horses are all a part of my family and loved and treasured deeply. For as long as I can remember I have been an animal lover and I have always been surrounded by pets and other animals. I can not imagine my life without animals as I truly believe they are a very important part of my family, my life and my heart.

It is very special the bond that can be formed between an animal and human and this is sometimes taken for granted.  It is important not to forget just how amazing our pets are and how they enrich our lives.

So this year, if you don’t have a Valentine, don’t go online, turn to your pet, they won’t decline, a romantic night, full of food and cuddles, and even better they won’t drink your wine.

Until next time,
Bec


Photo sourced from http://cattle-cow-bovine.information-and-facts.com/importance-of-cows-in-india/

A “Sacred” cow that has been decorated for a Hindu Festival.

Over the Christmas break a conversation amongst family and friends touched on Hinduism and the worship of cows.  My own curiosity led me to want to find out a little bit more on why and how the cow was worshipped in the Hindu religion.  After finding it interesting, I thought I might share with you a little bit of the information that I found out. Hinduism is one of the oldest living religions and is practiced by the majority of people in India and Nepal, making it the third largest religion practiced today.

In Hinduism all living creatures are considered as sacred and the cow is the animal used to symbolise this respect for all creatures.  Hindus do not “worship” the cow, however they respect, honour and adore the cow.  The cow is considered a symbol of life, grace and abundance and is not to be killed.  The cow is a gentle, ever giving creature and according to some Hindu scriptures is the mother of all creatures.  The cow is adored and worshipped because they are so generous in what they give to humans and they take so little.

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xmas_funThe festive season is well and truly upon us, a time full of celebrations and feasts, presents and family.  Its a time to relax and have fun with your family, including the four-legged members.  If you are looking for somewhere special to take your dog over your Christmas break check out the following website as it is full of dog friendly parks and beaches all around Australia. http://doggo.com.au/

While you are enjoying Christmas make sure you remember to keep your pets safe. The most dangerous thing at Christmas time for your pets is the extra food they might eat.  It is important to keep their diet the same even though it is so tempting to give them a treat or some of your Christmas dinner but in can make them sick.  The worst culprit for making pets sick is the Christmas Ham.  Thats right, as delicious as it is and as much as they would like some it can be very dangerous.  Ham is high in fat and salt which can cause serious stomach aches and even pancreatitis.  Make sure not to feed them any chicken or turkey with bones in it as the bones are very dangerous if your pets eat them.

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It was nearly four years ago when an unlikely friendship developed here on our farm, between our dog Lilly, a Magpie and a Chicken.

One day my husband was out in the paddock when he found a
young Magpie that had fallen from its nest.  With no parents in sight and crows hanging around he decided it best to bring the Magpie home for me to look after.  The little fella was still young, he had some of his adult flight feathers but still couldn’t fly properly.  We decided to keep him in a box and feed him until Monday when I could get the vet to give him a check up.  After a vet check up established he just needed a little time to grow his feathers we continued feeding him and looking after him.  He lived in the house and on our deck in a cage most of the time unless we took him out with us for a walk around the stables.  Our dog Lilly became very fond of Buckley, as we affectionately named him.  They would spend a lot of time sitting together and he would chirp and sing to her while she looked at him rather intrigued as to what he was doing.

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Hip, Hip, Hooray!!! Today is the 1st of August which means I need a lot of carrots and a good singing voice to sing Happy Birthday to all our horses.

So we know that not all horses were born on the one day, but why is this date considered their birthday?

In the Southern Hemisphere we celebrate on the 1st of August but in the Northern Hemisphere the horses birthday is considered the 1st of January.  These dates were chosen to coincide with the start of the breeding / foaling season.  Originally this came about in the thoroughbred and standardbred racing industries.  The reasoning was because horses were placed in races according to their age so it was therefore easier to have all horses birthdate deemed as August 1st of the year they were born.  Although it began in the racing industries, these days many breeds and competitions consider August 1st the horses birthday.  It was decided to do it this way to alleviate confusion and to have overall fairness in competition.

So if like us and today you are celebrating your horses birthday I hope you give your equine friend a carrot and a cuddle, or maybe if they are lucky they will even get a cake, carrot cake of course.

Until next time,
Bec