Quick Links

Pionera July 14-15 2012

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 14, 2012 20:04

HOT attended Pionera today, located at the WDM (Western Development Museum) in Saskatoon, Sask.
My son said "Pionera is fun"....guess that sums it up.
We managed to score some bread and jam baked in the clay oven...hhhmmmm good!
The volunteer staff is friendly, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable, many dressed in period costumes lend a definite pioneer flavor to the event.

Demonstrations are available to watch throughout the day, some have schedule times, some are on-going...all are interesting.
William Gough and Melissa Saunder Whip Cracking was definitely a highlight.  William Gough, a transplanted Australian, world class whip cracker, and his protégé Melissa Saunder provide an upbeat, entertaining whip cracking demonstration that showcases their world class whip cracking skills and outstanding bridleless horsemanship. 

Louise Saunders of HALCYONIA WELSH PONIES & COBS, bred both demo horses. http://www.halcyonia-rivermeadfarms.com/


Melissa Saunder of William Gough Australian Whip Cracking Show                                                                           top  William Gough of William Gough Australian Whip Cracking Show 

photo credit:  HorseOwnerToday.com

Laurie Tonita of "Ushu Farrier Supply" provided a "hot shoeing" demonstration.  Laurie provided a professional, entertaining glimpse of the farrier profession.  http://youtu.be/kWq245ZvMhc http://www.ushu.ca insert photo
Other demonstrations including packing a horse, harvest - hand threshing to mechanical threshing, stationary engines, clay oven bread baking, flour making, horse drawn wagon rides - provided by the Saskatchewan Pleasure Driving Association and more....

"Blue" provides horsepower to drill a well


A wagon train ride.....love the recycles

Threshing demonstration

Go to http://www.tourismsaskatoon.com/festivals/Festivals/Pion_Era/ for more.

Tags: , ,

Cup of Cheer Blog Staying Safe in Black Bear Country

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 9, 2012 14:53

Photo credit:  http://wildanimalsnames.blogspot.com/2009/03/black-bear.html

(if you are in Grizzly Country, good luck to you, the Grizz is altogether a different animal!)
This week the spring Black Bear hunting season ended, and with it ended the filling of bait stations everywhere.  After three peaceful years camping out in Black Bear back country, my normally completely- out –of- sight, out- of- mind neighbours have started knocking on my door to borrow a cup of cooking oil….or a bucket full,  if I’ve got it.
So yesterday I had to make a quick study of Black Bear behavior to learn how to re-establish a demilitarized zone around my cabin, a safe place for me and my family in the midst of wild animal country.  I don’t want to become a bear hunter myself, and I surely do not want to become prey.  In my quest for peace, I have learned several key points to getting along with Black Bears:
1.     Black Bears (Ursus Americanus) are curious, intelligent and timid creatures by nature.  Given their basic needs are met in their natural habitat (abundant berries and bugs, lots of space and good cover), they won’t impose on human neighbours for hand-outs.

2.    Hunting season is a game changer. 
I wish I had thought of all this BEFORE I agreed to let a hunter set up a bait station on my land.  I realize that these bears have no natural predators, and population control is necessary from time to time.  I’m really not against hunting.   It’s just that I expected the huge bears from the trail cam to become nice cozy rugs in front of the hunter’s fireplace…I had no idea these same bears would not even be seen by the hunter in 6 weeks, or that they would carry off the extra bait to MY place, laughing all the way back to their dens.  (According to trail cam, 3 or 4 different bears were involved, that’s a mob, imo.)

3.    It only takes ONE TIME to train a Black Bear to eat un-natural food out of an un-natural package.  From just a single experience, a Black Bear can become trained, or “food-conditioned”, seeking out any object resembling that prize food container (bait station) and will investigate any such container, even if it does not contain food.  (By investigate, I mean tipping, rolling and puncturing with teeth and claws.)

I returned to the site of my little cabin in the woods this past Sunday after being away for a week.  The 45 gal drum rain barrel was tipped over and the 45 gal drum that keeps our kindling dry had been rolled around, the baggie of dryer lint and matches inside had been thoroughly chewed.  It took me a few minutes to realize that hunting season had ended the day before, and the cooking oil and sugary carbs were no longer being served out of ….you guessed it, a 45 gal drum. 

 I must give the bears credit here for not disturbing anything ELSE in my camp site, including my lawn chairs, my wooden clothes dryer rack, picnic table, benches, BBQ.  So, thanks guys.

4.    Black Bears ears are attracted to and eat just about anything.  (Think GOAT). 
Once “habituated” or conditioned to unnatural food, you have a “nuisance bear”.  This bear will approach camp sites in spite of their fear of humans, to feed their craving for our food.  Once the bear starts this behavior, the next step is usually a call to the conservation officer to have the “problem” moved to someone else’s back yard.  Most people I talked to about this thought the answer should involve a loaded gun. 
What I learned through my research into Black Bear behavior is that relocating a bear often doesn’t work (they come back.)   Killing is not the best way to deal with conflict situations.  We could run out of room to hide the bodies!
This situation is, after all, not the bear’s fault.  (Think of STARBUCKS, or TIM HORTONS.  Why is it so hard to just drive away?)

5.    There may be a way to restore lasting peace in the wilderness without destroying the problem animal.
So, even if the local Black Bear population has collectively become hooked on cooking oil and day old donuts, I’m hopeful  we can turn this around and resume our natural patterns of living.  I have discovered advice on re-training bears to stay out of my camp site and I am hopeful that it works.  I’m not a killer, and I don’t want to give up my Summer Paradise either.

I’m also hopeful as a human being that I can beat the Tim Horton’s effect myself  – that I might prefer saskatoons over double chocolate dip, honey crullers or Boston Creams and coffee.  If sugar makes us crazy, I guess it’s a good thing we don’t all tote guns around.  (Put DOWN the donuts and BACK AWAY from the deep fryer.) 
WHAT TO DO if you come in contact with a Black Bear
First of all, remember that Black Bears are timid creatures and fearful of those that stand on their hind legs all the time. (that’s us)  Even if addicted to sugary, deep fried things, they are still AFRAID of us.  Given the chance, they will flee the scene of the conflict rather than fight you for your donuts.

If a Black Bear wanders into your space:
 In a firm manner, showing no fear, instruct the bear to leave.  Point out the exit.  Be stern.  Make yourself as large as you can, get all your buddies to gather together with you, and do not back down.   Get louder if at first you don’t succeed.  If the bear keeps ambling toward you (it probably won’t), feel free to send a shot of pepper spray into the air above the bear’s head, or launch a rock from a sling shot.  In much the same way that we need to establish and enforce boundaries with our horses and other pets, we need to enforce our boundaries with wild animals, for their safety as much as our own.
Pepper spray is a controlled substance, available at your local hunting outfitters.  If you have a sling shot, fire away.  The bear will learn that human food is not worth having if it’s this much trouble getting.

If you accidentally stumble upon a Black Bear while hiking or berry picking:
This is a completely different situation and requires a completely different response.
It is important that you NOT act aggressively now.  In this situation, the bear will be frightened and may not feel that it can get away from you.  In this case, the Black Bear can become defensive and attack you out of sheer fright.  The thing to do in this situation is to speak to the bear in a soft tone, backing slowly away by the same route you came, not making direct eye contact.
 All the bear really wants is to feel safe by having lots of daylight between itself and you.  If the bear is snorting, huffing or “whoofing”, smacking the ground with a paw or even charging you, it is most likely BLUFFING in an attempt to move you away.  It is not a good idea to further escalate the bear’s anxiety by becoming aggressive yourself, so just back off the pressure, slowly.  Even though you will be shaking in your boots, be strong and very courageous, don’t show your fear.
 Do not turn around, and do not run from the bear.  Don’t bother trying to climb a tree either, as the Black Bear is the undisputed master of the canopy, and actually feels MORE confident up there than they do on the ground.

All this is easier said than done, of course.  Your best bet is to conduct yourself so that you don’t end up in a situation of conflict to begin with.  Follow a few simple precautions and enjoy your time outdoors in the woods:

Always travel in groups of 3 or more, make lots of noise, and stick together.  Keep your eyes open for signs of bear presence and if you see a bear in the distance, give it lots of space.  If the bear has a carcass or cache of food, alter your route!  If you give the bears half a chance to steer clear of you, they usually will, unless guarding food or their young.  Just stay away.  In all my time in the woods, I have not encountered a bear face to face.  I make noise and they stay out of sight.
Don’t let children wander far from the group, keep pets on a leash as a free-roaming pet can irritate and provoke a bear.  Try carrying a long walking stick with a bandana tied to the top.  Wipe your sweaty brow on the bandana, steady yourself on the trail with the stick, and if you do stumble upon a bear, hold the bandana end of the stick out to the bear and carefully drop it as you back away.  The bear is all about a proper introduction, and wants to explore your scent.  He will likely be satisfied to investigate the bandana sample of you while you slowly and calmly back up the way you came.

Do not approach a bear or in any way attempt to make contact with a grown bear or cub.  It goes without saying that you should not entice a bear to approach you with food, DO NOT FEED THE BEARS.  Keep your campsite clean, take all solid garbage out frequently to secure containment and bury all liquid waste.  Don’t keep food, bait or any scented toiletries in your tent.  Don’t sleep under the stars.

Carry a sling shot or pepper spray at all times while out in bear country, just in case.  In the highly unlikely event that a Black Bear approaches  you aggressively and won’t stop coming on, use the spray or pelt it with rocks from 20 or 30 steps away.  Remember not to turn and run, don’t try to climb a tree, and under no circumstances ever drop and play dead with a Black Bear.   If the bear makes contact with you, fight it off with everything you’ve got, striking the head and eyes,  making lots of noise.
Remember that Black Bears have been living around humans for hundreds of years, and in all that time there have been very few outright attacks and even fewer fatalities.  Keep up your courage out there and take your place as a human, without fear, the bears will respect that.

Happy Camping
The bears thought it would be a good idea to store a jug of oil over at my place.  I was told a bear will eat his fill at the bait station and haul the leftovers to a “safe place”.  Evidently they have watched me enough to know that the deep fryer insert that came with my cast-iron dutch oven has never been taken out of the box, so apparently storing oil at my place is a great idea.  I noticed they didn’t store any leftover donuts though….

6.    It is not necessary to have a nuisance bear removed or destroyed.
I have been advised to pick up some bear spray and an air horn, having these close by so that I can re-train the bears to stay out of my space like they used to.  I am told that a sling shot rock works well to chase a Black Bear away, and that the normal order will return. 
In my research of Black Bears, I learned that I am more likely to be struck by lightning or win the lottery than to be harmed by a Black Bear in the woods.   I hope it’s true.  I really don’t want the conflict.
Stay tuned to see how this all turns out.  If the next post is written in bear paw, then you know what likely happened to me.  I’m off to buy a lottery ticket now!









Gillian Thiessen, Sales Representative www.HorseOwnerToday.com



gillian.t@horseownertoday.com or call 306-292-6768


Tags: , ,


Paying it Forward in 2012

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 5, 2012 13:01

Big thanks to SaskPower Shand Greenhouse booth at the Farm Progress Show 2012, we stopped by their booth, picked up order forms and entered their draw.....we won - Saskatoonberry Chocolate Hearts by Riverbend Plantation!

Tags: , ,


J. J. Voss, Saskatchewan Recording Artist interviewed by Andrea Lawrence

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 2, 2012 15:47

J.J. was raised on a farm in rural Saskatchewan and has toured to promote his albums  "Hillbilly Storybook" and "Show 'em Who's Voss" which was produced in Nashville.  J.J. has had the pleasure of warming up for Johnny Reid, The RoadHammers and had a showcase spot opening for Raul Malo (The Mavericks). J.J.'s debut single "It's a Pride Thing" has received radio play across Canada, and his video is being shown across Canada and the United States. J.J. is considered a blend of Country, Americana, and Folk Rock.  This young singer is gaining popularity and will surely be very successful soon! If you have a function coming up this summer and need a great performer, you better book him now!
You can find him on Facebook at:  

Andrea: When I first met you, you were doing the sound for other bands at the Pump Roadhouse in Regina, Saskatchewan. At what point did you say to yourself, 'hey, I can do this' or when did you pick up a guitar and decide you wanted to go into the music industry?
J.J.:  Well, the time that I worked at the Pump was probably three or four chapters along the road in my music career. I started playing in bands when I was 15 years old playing the ‘bar circuit' when there was such a thing. We toured Western Canada when there were six night gigs. I was the lead guitar player for a bunch of different bands over the years. As that scene started to die out, and dwindled from six nights to five nights then down to just weekends, I realized it was drying up and wasn't feasible any more. I was also getting older too, but it was a good experience for me in my 20s and it was a good way of learning my chops, develop my ear and learn about the industry, and it was a lot of fun.
Andrea: So it was good for you to understand what you were getting into after with your own band?
J.J.: Oh yes, as that would down and it was not feasible any more, it was either get a real job, or figure out some way to stay involved in the entertainment field and the music industry. That was when I started to develop as a mix engineer.
Andrea: Did you enjoy that time, did you have fun doing that?
J.J.:  I really do enjoy working as a mix engineer.  If there is a great band on stage, I have as much fun behind the sound board as I would if I was on stage.
Andrea: Did you meet a lot of good people through that time?
J.J.: I made a lot of connections through the years, working at the club, because they brought in a lot of touring acts. The club was committed to doing live entertainment, and they did all types of different genres from punk rock, country, blue grass to metal and everything in between. It was a great way to connect with people and I met people in the industry from all over the place with different backgrounds.
Andrea: So did that help you along in choosing your new career in which you put out an album of your own in 2008 called "Hillbilly Storybook"? Can you tell me a bit about that?
J.J.: That album was almost like going to university for me, what I was learning as a sound engineer I started to apply as a recording engineer. I started to get involved in digital recording. I took the knowledge that I had learned in one field and applied it to the next. I basically kept evolving and morphing and leapfrogging into different areas. For me I was side guy in cover bands for years and years, and then I got involved behind the scenes as a production guy. In the back of my mind as a little kid I always wanted to be as singer songwriter, and a solo recording artist, but for one reason or another I never jumped out and pursued it. In my late twenties, I got to the point where I had the experience in these different things and then it was natural. I thought, now I'm ready I can do this on my own. I didn't have a big bankroll to work with and everything I've done this far I've had to finance on my own. It was a logical step.
Andrea: Out of the songs are on "Hillbilly Storybook", can you tell me what was your number one on that album?
J.J.: I wrote three of the six songs on that project. Again that was me just learning how to do it and I was a very novice songwriter. The first song I ever started and finished I put on that album. From being a kid I always dabbled and wrote stuff down but I never really finished, and didn't know how to. I didn't have the discipline or the resolve to do it. Finally I had reached a point where I said I have to do this. I sat down and the first song I started and finished was called "Holy Man".  I got inspired and started to write the song  after all hell started to break loose in the Middle East after the attack happened on the World Trade Centre. I knew nothing about foreign politics and nothing about the Middle East. It was so relevant at the time and interesting but I had no idea what was really going on. I bought a book called "Holy War Incorporated" because I want to learn about it. It was dry, tough reading, but after I read this book, it really started to make sense, and inspired me to write the song.
Andrea: So you come from a small farm in rural Saskatchewan, can you tell me about that?
J.J.: Yes, it is about an hour north of Regina.
Andrea: Is that where your family still is and your roots are there?
J.J.: Oh Yes!  *smiling
Andrea: So you are familiar with farming and ranching?
J.J.: We still own and operate a little farm.
Andrea: Do you have a horse?
J.J.: Oh yes, we have three horses. The one horse, my dad and I bought together when I was about 13. Her name is Blaze and she's a feisty Arab!
Andrea: So you have to ride her more often then, is what you are saying?
J.J.: Oh yeah, I’d love to!  When I was in my teens, I rode a lot!  but my biggest obstacle was my allergies and  they seemed to have gotten worse as I got older. Now I really have a hard time being able to be around the horses.
Andrea: Oh No!  I bet you were glad when they cut out smoking in all the bars.
J.J.: Oh Huge difference, yes! It's too bad because I love animals and I love horses. My allergies vary with different types of animals, but especially with horse sweat.  In the summer, it is not even possible for me to ride. In the winter time I can go riding, but I have to be careful not to rub my eyes or touch my face or anything. But I still have the love and still have the horses out there. It's all good.
Andrea: That's too bad it is not wholesome and healthy for you to be out there for the most part!
J.J.: Well Dad still has a team that he hooks up every year.
Andrea: Does he do sleigh rides and stuff like that?
J.J.: Oh yeah, every year at Christmas time.
Andrea: In your Bio it says that your heroes include Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Steve Earle. Can you pick one, and tell me what inspired you about that person or why they are your hero?
J.J.: Steve Earle! He has to be the cornerstone just for the fact that, at the time when I was most impressionable growing up, his music was hitting me and it spoke to me right at that time. I became an avid fan and I followed him since I was 11 years old. I have every recording he's ever done, and well, I know too much about the guy.
Andrea: Now what do you consider your music to be is it country or pop or a mix?
J.J.: I try not to get too caught up in titles or branding it, but if you are trying to make a career or a living out of it, you do have to think about the business aspect of it. The reality of it is in Canada we have country music radio or modern rock or else classic rock. I am somewhere between southern guitar rock, and 90s country that was produced by Steve Earle, The Mavericks or Dwight Yoakam. That whole era between the mid 80s and early 90s is what really influenced the way I sound today. That's the music that I dig.
Andrea: So who do you write for when you write? Do you write for yourself or do you write for other people?
J.J.: Well right now I'm writing for myself.  because I want to write songs about things that I want to say as an artist and things that effect me.
Andrea: So, true stuff?
J.J.: Yes.
Andrea: What artist do you think you resemble most and why?
J.J.: Oh, Paul Thorn! When I found his music, it basically stoked the fire in me like it did when I discovered Steve Earle’s music. Paul is incredibly intelligent and the deals with very deep topics and sensitive issues, but he does it with a tongue in cheek humour,   but it's not stupid humour it's very intelligent. He looks at situations from a unique angle; (most often from the underdog’s point of view) our culture tends to see everything in black and white.... Good vs. Bad.   Paul’s writing highlights that there is good and bad in everyone....  We’re all human.
Andrea: Can you tell me about the song “Whiskey, the Tree and Me"?
J.J.: That one is a very personal tune in regards to my family. Around ’95 (I believe it was) my cousin, Nathan, was playing broomball during a phys Ed Class at school. He lost his feet from under him, hit his head on the ice and was knocked out briefly. They got him up, he walked it off and he seemed okay. He went back to school with a headache, A little while later he passed out in class. They rushed him to the hospital, but he had an aneurism and within 24 hours they had told the family that he was brain dead.  The family made the tough choice to take him off of life support a few days later, the accident happened on December the 18th, and we buried him on December the 23rd.  The twist to this already tragic story, is that he was born Christmas Day, and yet we had to bury him so close to his birthday, it really hit me on the way home. He was my first cousin. I mean, we weren't close like brothers or something, but it really left an impression on me. I thought, “Man, what is it going to be like every year, come Christmas time,” (and really, for the whole month of December) to think of him, with every Christmas cheer. It has to be hard to be his parents, and re-live that over and over, every year. I came up with that song title that day. It was about four years ago, on Christmas Eve, that I finished the song.
Andrea: Did it take you that long to find the right words?
J.J.: No, I guess maybe I am just a terrible procrastinator, and I just said I have to finish this already and I finally finished the thought.
Andrea: I know you are passionate about it, because I could tell when you performed it. I knew by the way you sang it that it was a personal song. That is why I had to ask you about it. I am glad that you are deep enough that you can write about stuff that is personal to you.
J.J.: Well that goes back to my heroes, the people who I look up to as song writers. They are not afraid to write about  Tough, personal topics, I think it helps with healing.
Andrea: Now, another song I really like is "Joanie The Jehovah's Witness Stripper". Can you elaborate on how you ended up with this song?  *Laughing

J.J.:  Well I can't take credit for that song!  That’s a Paul Thorn Song, who I mentioned earlier. He wrote that one, I heard Chris Cummings play the song during one of his shows at the club that I was working at.  I FELL in love with the song, and just had to record it.   What makes it authentic for me, I suppose is, that on my dad's side of the family, there were 9 kids and there was a split in the family back in the 70s. The family was Catholic. My grandma and my three aunts became Jehovah's. I was born in ’75 and had never met them until I was in my teens, and when I did, they were handing out pamphlets! The whole religious thing was a sensitive subject to my family. It was a real issue growing up. I didn't know half of my family, and my uncle didn't even go to his own mother's funeral because of this, the song isn't taking a poke just at Jehovah Witness', I have a hard time with organized religions in general, Now don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s personal belief systems... and spirituality and I, myself, have my own beliefs, and I consider myself spiritual too. I just have a hard time with the “business” of religion.   To wrap this up in a nutshell, when I heard "Joanie The Jehovah's Witness Stripper", I knew it was so me, I had to put it on the album.
Andrea: Well, I absolutely love the song and I think it’s priceless. I go on to your websites and Reverb Nation and listen to it again. I had to ask about the song because I often hear people say "WHAT?" when I talk about the song. I am sure you get a lot of that!
J.J.:  Well in fairness to the JW’s, in the song "Holy Man" I’m pretty critical of main stream Christianity as well.   Some might think it is an anti-war song, and to some degree I am anti-war I suppose, but the song more about using people’s faith systems to manipulate them into War.   I believe if a country is going to go to war, there had better be damn good, unavoidable reasons to do so.   With our leaders painting Muslim’s as terrorists  and Christians as the good guys this does nothing but perpetuate hate..... When the whole concept of Religion and “God” is supposed to be about Love.     If Nations were to send 30-50 year old people to fight wars,   I don’t believe they’d happen very often. Instead we send 18 or 25 year old kids, who are hell bent to be somebody..... Easy to point and shoot.

Andrea: Now, if you were interviewing yourself, what kind of question would you ask yourself, and how would you answer it? What would you like to get OUT THERE?
J.J.:  Ha ha- that is a tough one, because I talk a lot! It usually a matter of getting me to shut up and put things concisely, so that is a real tough one to answer! I suppose I should have to ask myself what do I hope to accomplish or what are my goals?  Or why I am a solo artist or why am I as passionate about song writing as I am. I think it is because of the artists that I look up to. Artists like Johnny Cash changed the world and spoke to people and dealt with very touchy subjects. I think Steve Earle followed in his footsteps. Those two were the most prevalent in my world.
Andrea: If you had to pick an artist and ask him questions, who would it be?
J.J.:  Oh, it would have to be Paul Thorn. I met him briefly in October, and I had a couple of good conversations with him, but he is such a complex guy and his past is very interesting. His father was a Pentecostal Minister. Paul touches on spirituality throughout his work, and he takes pokes at hypocrisy surrounding organized churches. Still, he has very strong beliefs.  I would like to ask him if he recommends that I stay clear of the church that he came from! He is so clever in the way that he crafts his songs, you don't really know for sure, but he gets you thinking! Paul is dealing with topics that are pertinent to me right now.
Andrea: Can you tell me about your time in Nashville?
J.J.:  Nashville is a wonderful place and very beneficial in helping me develop my song writing skills and get further ahead. It's an inspiring town, and every time I have gone, I come back with a really good song. I will sit at home and come up with nothing, but there’s something in the air that is just inspiring in Nashville.   I have had the privilege of writing with some very good writers. I am learning a lot about getting started, and finishing. One great analogy I had heard, is “get the frame work done” we are not putting in carpet or hanging curtains, we are just framing the house. It's a matter of getting the blue print of the song, getting the arrangement worked out, and tweaking it afterwards and finishing it.
Andrea: Was it a good experience for you being in Nashville then?
J.J.:  Yes, the town is very welcoming, and the people there want to help you, they make you feel so welcome because they want you coming back.  A songwriter will wake up in the morning make his coffee and his jobs is to and write a new song. You can run out of  ideas just like I have at home, but when you have somebody coming in from elsewhere bringing new and fresh ideas, it’s  what helps keep that town moving. Everyone wants to see you get further, because it is a networking town. You know someone who knows someone and everybody winds up climbing higher on the ladder.
Andrea: Did you get to meet anyone famous while you were there?
J.J.:  Oh, yes, lots of people, like Jacob Dillon from the Wallflowers, Robert Plant, Rodney Crowell,  Raul Malo, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Paul Thorn, Steve Earle
Andrea: Wow- you met Steve Earle, that's like a dream come true!
J.J.:  Oh I have got to meet him a few times now. This time was a different setting. He was at a night club (and he hates night clubs), he did not want to be there! I felt a little sheepish about approaching him “like a Fan” but I just had to. I stopped him and bugged him for a picture. You could tell he wanted to get the heck out of there, but he took a picture with me and away he went.
Andrea: Do you have anything you want to add or perhaps give yourself a promotional plug here?
J.J.:  Sure, look me up on line, I am pretty involved in the social media world, I am on Facebook www.facebook.com/jjvoss  and Twitter.www.twitter.com@jjvoss   Go to my website www.jjvoss.com  and check out my music  if you like what I Do then you can check it out on iTunes or order it off my website, and I will send you an autographed copy! Thanks for the interview- it's been great!

J.J. Voss

Weather Pics from Swift Current, Saskatchewan

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 26, 2012 12:39

Photos courtesy of Mitzy Tait-Zeller, Swift Current Saskatchewan


Tags: , ,



posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 26, 2012 12:18



Natural Disasters
Tornado situations will often produce anxiety, fear and a need to escape for some pets. Debris displaced by high winds, can cause injury to animals left outdoors. Take preparedness
measures to protect and care for your pet during tornadoes.
Preparing Pets for Tornadoes
• Create an emergency supply kit for your pet, should you need to evacuate your home due to heavy destruction.
□□A 3-5 day supply of food and water for your pet, bowls and a non-electric can opener.
□□Sanitation items, such as a litter box or puppy pads, and disposal equipment.
□□Crates to provide the animal with a secure and safe hiding spot; make sure that the crate is clearly labeled.
□□Leash and collar should you need to transport your pet, carrier for cats.
□□Any medications for pets and all medical records for them as well.
• Identification.
□□All animals should have some sort of identification
(collar with tag, microchip).
□□Take a photo of your pet and keep it with the
medical records.
• Prepare to seek shelter.
□□Practice getting the entire family, including pets, to the tornado safe area during calm weather.
□□Train your dog to go to the area on command or to come to you on command regardless of distractions.
□□Learn how to quickly and safely secure your cat.
□□Know the hiding places of your pet and how to quickly and safely gather your pet.
During a Tornado
• Pet safety.
□□Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm.
□□NEVER leave pets tied up outside.
□□If they are frightened, reassure them and remain calm.
□□Pets should be provided the same cover as humans during severe weather.
• Put all pets in cages or carriers and in the safe room when a tornado warning is issued.
□□Animals can sense bad weather and will look for a place to hide if they sense it is near.
• NEVER leave your pet chained outside or enclosed in a manner in which they cannot escape danger.
After a Tornado
• Pet behavior.
□□Be aware that a pet’s behavior may change before, during and after a disaster.
□□In the first few hours after the storm, leash your pets when they go outside until they readjust to the situation.
□□Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.
• Pet safety.
□□Keep your pet away from storm damaged areas.
□□Power lines could be down and dangerous objects will be littered about everywhere.
• Lost pets.
□□If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office.
□□Bring along a picture of your pet, if possible.
Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.


Tags: , ,


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 26, 2012 12:00


June 26, 2012 Dundurn Saskatchewan 12:00

Natural Disasters
Livestock can become injured, displaced or die during tornado situations. Protecting your livestock from tornados involves the following measures.
Before a Severe Storm
• Maintain an inventory.
□□Keep a current list of all animals on your farm; include their location and any records of ownership.
• Have identification for all animals.
□□Make sure animals have some form of permanent
identification (e.g., ear tags, tattoos).
• Have an emergency plan.
□□Tornadoes can cause structural damage and
power outages.
□□Have well maintained backup generators or alternate power sources for livestock production operations.
□□In the event of animal escape, have handling equipment (e.g., halters, nose leads) and safety and emergency items for your vehicles and trailers.
• Ensure a safe environment.
□□Assess the stability and safety of barns and
other structures.
□□Remove loose objects from fields or livestock areas that may become potential flying debris.
During a Severe Storm
• Be aware animal behavior may change before, during and even after a disaster.
• Livestock sense tornadoes in advance.
□□If your family or house is at risk, ignore livestock.
□□If your personal security isn’t threatened, you may only have time to open routes of escape for your livestock.
• Livestock safety.
□□If possible, bring animals into a barn or shelter well in advance of a storm.
□□Make sure they have plenty of food and water.
□□Keep them away from areas with windows.
□□NEVER leave animals tied up or restrained outside.
After a Severe Storm
• Assess your animals and building structures.
□□Survey damage to your barns and other structures;
assess the stability and safety.
□□Examine your animals closely; contact your veterinarian if you observe injuries.
• Cleanup safely.
□□Gather and dispose of trash, limbs, wire, and damaged equipment that could harm livestock.
• Provide non-contaminated feed or water.
□□Provide clean, uncontaminated water.
□□Do not use any feed or forage that may have been contaminated by chemical or pesticides.
• Animal disposal.
□□Record any animal deaths.
□□Dispose of dead carcasses.
□□Check with your state or local authorities for proper disposal methods for animal carcasses.
Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.


Tags: , ,


After a Tornado - Cleaning Up and Children's Needs

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 16, 2012 08:21

   On this Page

    General Safety Precautions
    Inspecting the Damage
    Safety During Clean Up
    Children's Needs

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Other common causes of injury included falling objects and heavy, rolling objects. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution, or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.

Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Apply an antibiotic ointment. Contact a doctor to find out whether more treatment is needed (such as a tetanus shot). If a wound gets red, swells, or drains, seek immediate medical attention. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.
General Safety Precautions

Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:

    Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.

    Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.

    Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.

    Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.

    Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.

    Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.

    Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper—or even outside near an open window, door, or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO)--an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it--from these sources can build up in your home, garage, or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.

    Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.

    Cooperate fully with public safety officials.

    Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management, and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts, and you could endanger yourself.

Inspecting the Damage

    After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical, or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.

    In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas, and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.

    If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.

    If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.

    If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows, and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal's office, and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Safety During Clean Up

    Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves.

    Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.

    Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids, and other potentially hazardous materials.

Children's Needs

After a tornado, children may be afraid the storm will come back again and they will be injured or left alone. Children may even interpret disasters as punishment for real or imagined misdeeds. Explain that a tornado is a natural event.

Children will be less likely to experience prolonged fear or anxiety if they know what to expect after a tornado. Here are some suggestions:

    Talk about your own experiences with severe storms, or read aloud a book about tornadoes.

    Encourage your child to express feelings of fear. Listen carefully and show understanding.

    Offer reassurance. Tell your child that the situation is not permanent, and provide physical reassurance through time spent together and displays of affection.

    Include your child in clean-up activities. It is comforting to children to watch the household begin to return to normal and to have a job to do.

NOTE: Symptoms of anxiety may not appear for weeks or even months after a tornado; they can affect people of any age. If anxiety disrupts daily activities for any member of your family, seek professional assistance through a school counselor, community religious organization, your physician, or a licensed professional. Counselors are listed under Mental Health Services in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.

Tags: , ,


During a Tornado - Signs of an Approaching Storm

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 16, 2012 08:12

Some tornadoes strike rapidly, without time for a tornado warning, and sometimes without a thunderstorm in the vicinity. When you are watching for rapidly emerging tornadoes, it is important to know that you cannot depend on seeing a funnel: clouds or rain may block your view. The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:

    A dark or green-colored sky.
    A large, dark, low-lying cloud.
    Large hail.
    A loud roar that sounds like a freight train.

If you notice any of these weather conditions, take cover immediately, and keep tuned to local radio and TV stations or to a NOAA weather radio.
NOAA Weather Radios
NOAA weather radios are the best way to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. By using a NOAA weather radio, you can receive continuous updates on all the weather conditions in your area. The range of these radios depends on where you live, but the average range is 40 miles. The radios are sold in many stores. The National Weather Service recommends buying a radio with a battery backup (in case the power goes off) and a tone-alert feature that automatically sounds when a weather watch or warning is issued.
Sighting a Funnel Cloud

If you see a funnel cloud nearby, take shelter immediately (see the following section for instructions on shelter). However, if you spot a tornado that is far away, help alert others to the hazard by reporting it to the newsroom of a local radio or TV station before taking shelter as described later. Use common sense and exercise caution: if you believe that you might be in danger, seek shelter immediately.
Taking Shelter

Your family could be anywhere when a tornado strikes--at home, at work, at school, or in the car. Discuss with your family where the best tornado shelters are and how family members can protect themselves from flying and falling debris.

The key to surviving a tornado and reducing the risk of injury lies in planning, preparing, and practicing what you and your family will do if a tornado strikes. Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
At Home

Pick a place in the home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. One basic rule is AVOID WINDOWS. An exploding window can injure or kill.

The safest place in the home is the interior part of a basement. If there is no basement, go to an inside room, without windows, on the lowest floor. This could be a center hallway, bathroom, or closet.

For added protection, get under something sturdy such as a heavy table or workbench. If possible, cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress, and protect your head with anything available--even your hands. Avoid taking shelter where there are heavy objects, such as pianos or refrigerators, on the area of floor that is directly above you. They could fall though the floor if the tornado strikes your house.
In a Mobile Home

DO NOT STAY IN A MOBILE HOME DURING A TORNADO. Mobile homes can turn over during strong winds. Even mobile homes with a tie-down system cannot withstand the force of tornado winds.

Plan ahead. If you live in a mobile home, go to a nearby building, preferably one with a basement. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert and shield your head with your hands.

If you live in a tornado-prone area, encourage your mobile home community to build a tornado shelter.
On the Road

The least desirable place to be during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Cars, buses, and trucks are easily tossed by tornado winds.

DO NOT TRY TO OUTRUN A TORNADO IN YOUR CAR. If you see a tornado, stop your vehicle and get out. Do not get under your vehicle. Follow the directions for seeking shelter outdoors (see next section).

If you are caught outside during a tornado and there is no adequate shelter immediately available--

    Avoid areas with many trees.
    Avoid vehicles.
    Lie down flat in a gully, ditch, or low spot on the ground.
    Protect your head with an object or with your arms.

Long-Span Buildings

A long-span building, such as a shopping mall, theater, or gymnasium, is especially dangerous because the roof structure is usually supported solely by the outside walls. Most such buildings hit by tornados cannot withstand the enormous pressure. They simply collapse.

If you are in a long-span building during a tornado, stay away from windows. Get to the lowest level of the building--the basement if possible--and away from the windows.

If there is no time to get to a tornado shelter or to a lower level, try to get under a door frame or get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris. For instance, in a department store, get up against heavy shelving or counters. In a theater, get under the seats. Remember to protect your head.
Office Buildings, Schools, Hospitals, Churches, and Other Public Buildings

Extra care is required in offices, schools, hospitals, or any building where a large group of people is concentrated in a small area. The exterior walls of such buildings often have large windows.

If you are in any of these buildings--

    Move away from windows and glass doorways.

    Go to the innermost part of the building on the lowest possible floor.

    Do not use elevators because the power may fail, leaving you trapped.

    Protect your head and make yourself as small a target as possible by crouching down.

Shelter for People with Special Needs

Advance planning is especially important if you require assistance to reach shelter from an approaching storm (see specific instructions in the next section).

    If you are in a wheelchair, get away from windows and go to an interior room of the house. If possible, seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk. Do cover your head with anything available, even your hands.

    If you are unable to move from a bed or a chair and assistance is not available, protect yourself from falling objects by covering up with blankets and pillows.

    If you are outside and a tornado is approaching, get into a ditch or gully. If possible, lie flat and cover your head with your arms.


Tags: , ,

Tornadoes: Being Prepared

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 16, 2012 07:59

Stay Tuned for Storm Watches and Warnings

When there are thunderstorms in your area, turn on your radio or TV to get the latest emergency information from local authorities. Listen for announcements of a tornado watch or tornado warning.
Local Warning System

Photo of tornado warning system.Learn about the tornado warning system of your county or locality. Most tornado-prone areas have a siren system. Know how to distinguish between the siren's warnings for a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes, for example, during a severe thunderstorm.

During a tornado watch,

    Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations or a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for further weather information.

    Watch the weather and be prepared to take shelter immediately if conditions worsen.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar.

You should take shelter immediately.

Because tornadoes often accompany thunderstorms, pay close attention to changing weather conditions when there is a severe thunderstorm watch or warning.

A severe thunderstorm watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.

A severe thunderstorm warning means severe thunderstorms are occurring in your area.

Keep fresh batteries and a battery-powered radio or TV on hand. Electrical power is often interrupted during thunderstorms--just when information about weather warnings is most needed.
Important Measures To Take

    Photo of floor plan.Take a few minutes with your family to develop a tornado emergency plan. Sketch a floor plan of where you live, or walk through each room and discuss where and how to seek shelter.

    Show a second way to exit from each room or area. If you need special equipment, such as a rope ladder, mark where it is located.

    Make sure everyone understands the siren warning system, if there's such a system in your area.

    Mark where your first-aid kit and fire extinguishers are located.

    Mark where the utility switches or valves are located so they can be turned off--if time permits--in an emergency.

    Teach your family how to administer basic first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.

    Learn the emergency dismissal policy for your child's school.

    Make sure your children know--
        What a tornado is
        What tornado watches and warnings are
        What county or parish they live in (warnings are issued by county or parish)
        How to take shelter, whether at home or at school.

Extra Measures for People with Special Needs

    Write down your specific needs, limitations, capabilities, and medications. Keep this list near you always--perhaps in your purse or wallet.

    Find someone nearby (a spouse, roommate, friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker) who will agree to assist you in case of an emergency. Give him or her a copy of your list. You may also want to provide a spare key to your home, or directions to find a key.

    Keep aware of weather conditions through whatever means are accessible to you. Some options are closed captioning or scrolled warnings on TV, radio bulletins, or call-in weather information lines.

Practicing Your Emergency Plan

Conduct drills and ask questions to make sure your family remembers information on tornado safety, particularly how to recognize hazardous weather conditions and how to take shelter.
Writing Down Important Information

A blank form is provided for you to write down important names and numbers.

Make a list of important information. Include these on your list:

    Important telephone numbers, such as emergency (police and fire), paramedics, and medical centers.

    Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your insurance agents, including policy types and numbers.

    Telephone numbers of the electric, gas, and water companies.

    Names and telephone numbers of neighbors.

    Name and telephone number of your landlord or property manager.

    Important medical information (for example, allergies, regular medications, and brief medical history).

    Year, model, license, and identification numbers of your vehicles (automobiles, boats, and RVs).

    Bank's or credit union's telephone number, and your account numbers.

    Radio and television broadcast stations to tune to for emergency broadcast information.

Storing Important Documents

Store the following documents in a fire- and water-proof safe:

    Birth certificates
    Ownership certificates (autos, boats, etc.)
    Social security cards
    Insurance policies
    Household inventory
        List of contents of household; include serial numbers, if applicable
        Photographs or videotape of contents of every room
        Photographs of items of high values, such as jewelry, paintings, collection items

First Aid Supplies

First Aid Kit
Store your first aid supplies in a tool box or fishing tackle box so they will be easy to carry and be protected from water. Inspect your kit regularly and keep it freshly stocked.

Drugs and Medications

    Soap and clean water to disinfect wounds
    Antibiotic ointment
    Individually wrapped alcohol swabs
    Aspirin and non-aspirin tablets
    Prescriptions and any long-term medications (keep these current)
    Diarrhea medicine
    Eye drops

NOTE: Important medical information and most prescriptions can be stored in the refrigerator, which provides excellent protection from fires.


    Clean sheets torn into strips
    Elastic bandages
    Rolled gauze
    Cotton-tipped swabs
    Adhesive tape roll

Other First Aid Supplies

    First aid book
    Writing materials
    Bar soap
    Paper cups
    Plastic bags
    Safety pins
    Needle and thread
    Instant cold packs for sprains
    Sanitary napkins
    Pocket knife
    Splinting material

Reducing Household Hazards

Home Inspection Checklist
The following suggestions will reduce the risk for injury during or after a tornado. No amount of preparation will eliminate every risk.

Possible Hazards

Inspect your home for possible hazards, including the following:

    Are walls securely bolted to the foundation?

    Are wall studs attached to the roof rafters with metal hurricane clips, not nails?


    Do you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves?

Home Contents

    Are chairs or beds near windows, mirrors, or large pictures?

    Are heavy items stored on shelves more than 30" high?

    Are there large, unsecured items that might topple over or fall?

    Are poisons, solvents, or toxic materials stored safely ?

Securing Your Home's Structure

No home is completely safe in a tornado. However, attention to construction details can reduce damage and provide better protection for you and your family if a tornado should strike your house. If an inspection using the "Home Inspection Checklist" reveals a possible hazard in the way your home is constructed, contact your local city or county building inspectors for more information about structural safety. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do any needed work for you.
Walls and Roof Rafters

Strengthen the areas of connection between the wall studs and roof rafters with hurricane clips as shown in the above graphic.
Shutting Off Utilities

After a tornado, DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or appliances, or operate light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas and cause an explosion.

If you smell the odor of gas or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shut-off valve located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the "off" position.

After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion.

    Water may be turned off at either of two locations:

        At the main meter, which controls the water flow to the entire property.

        At the water main leading into the home. If you may need an emergency source of fresh water, it is better to shut off your water here, because it will conserve the water in your water heater.
    Attach a valve wrench to the water line. (This tool can be purchased at most hardware stores.)

    Label the water mains for quick identification.

Arranging and Securing Household Items

    Arrange furniture so that chairs and beds are away from windows, mirrors, and picture frames.

    Place heavy or large items on lower shelves.

    Secure your large appliances, especially your water heater, with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.

    Identify top-heavy, free-standing furniture, such as bookcases and china cabinets, that could topple over.

    Secure your furniture by using one of two methods.

        "L" brackets, corner brackets, or aluminum molding, to attach tall or top-heavy furniture to the wall.

        Eyebolts, to secure items located a short distance from the wall.

    Install sliding bolts or childproof latches on all cabinet doors.

    Store all hazardous materials such as poisons and solvents--
        in a sturdy, latched or locked cabinet
        in a well-ventilated area
        away from emergency food or water supplies


Tags: , ,