Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dartmoor Drums


In between racing to finish work for exhibition, I managed to squeeze in this commissioned piece of work for a friend. It is intended as a business postcard ( although the original is A4 in size) for Suzi Crockford, of Dartmoor Drums. Suzi creates extraordinarily beautiful handmade drums - I'm hankering after one myself after seeing and hearing them ;)



There is a ray of hope on the Bethan front. As you can see, she has rubbed bare patches on her face and her front legs, but the good news is that she appears to be free of lumps and bumps where the fly rug covers. I have added the Global Herbs 'Fly free' supplement to her feed to see whether this is effective, and yesterday morning my bottle of Avon 'Skin so Soft' arrived! Thankyou to those who recommended this - I am waiting to see whether this really does work as a fly repellent. I read the ingredients when it arrived, and my heart sank when I read Benzyl Benzoate is one of them, but it would appear it is only in trace amounts, and I patch tested it on myself before applying it to her 12 hours later. It didn't bring on an allergic reaction in me, so hopefully we will be ok with it. Of course, the other option is this :


The full face mask to provide a barrier from the biting midges. I gave in and purchased one yesterday, but I have real concerns about these. If a horse's main means of communication is through facial expression, how does it feel for them to have their face and ears completely masked? Does it hinder her natural communication? Or worse, put her at a disadvantage with 'the herd' because she can't interact naturally? So, I have tried it as a stop gap, because I don't want open sores on her face, but I am hoping we can find a DEET free fly repellent that really works, and remove the need to cover her face.
Though all of this sounds like bad news, actually, in a general sense, I am really pleased with her health. She is looking better over all, her coat is soft now, her skin feels loose , no longer stretched tight over her, she has lost some of the wrinkling around her eyes that always indicates stress or discomfort to me, and generally seems to be more relaxed.
So, we'll just keep plodding on!

18 comments:

Madeleine said...

That's a pretty painting Danielle

Valerianna said...

Really beautiful painting for your friend, Danielle!
Lovely. Good luck with the Skin So Soft, I have heard good things about it..... yes, the full face mask does seem a little extreme, I do hope you can find an alternative. Best of luck!

Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful calling card!
wishing you horse a healthy life. I love how you are so tuned in to possibilities for your horse friends.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Beautiful commission Danielle! I went on her site, would love to have one of her drums myself!

good luck with the skin so soft, I hope it works for you.

Jessie said...

That's absolutely gorgeous, you friend must be thrilled with it!xx

Yarrow said...

I love the art work for the postcard, it's truly beautiful.

Dear little Bethan, I know it's hard when they are so itchy and we have to cover them up! It's a juggling act for Merlin too, sometimes one thing works and other times it's another!

chinecats said...

Just came across your lovely blog & it stirred my memories. For over 20 years I shared my life with a Welsh Cob. I tried all sorts of fly repellants. My neighbour became an Avon Lady, and looked at me with horror when I asked for Skin So Soft for my horse! I can't remember how good it was, but I do remember regularly resorting to Oil of Citronella diluted with water & sprayed. Lovely lemony smell!

Linda said...

Love your commission, its beautiful, and whimsical.
I use to mix up a combination of essential oils & added them to a bought bottle of fly spray,citranella,teatree,lavender,rosewood,cedarwood,eucalyptus,pachouli,juniper, geranium. just a few drops. ciranella repells midges but is very strong and should only be put neat on to mane and tail ends. these might be all too strong for your baby but....
For sore itchy skin soak (for a pony)4-6 double handfuls of oatmeal in a bucket for a few hours, strain &dilute with more water and use as a last rinse wash after a bath. A few drops only, of peppermint added to the wash shampoo will add a cooling effect on the skin,or use mint from the garden even safer mashed up into it, bit green though..or pachouli, chamomile, and lavender are great for sore imflamed skins. They are safe on the skin easing itching, helping clearing puffiness, helping tissue and cell regeneration. You can mix them into a carrier cream made up from equal parts of pure Aloe vera gel from Holland and barratt(great too,sunburn) and aqueous cream bp.
Woozle has had several years where after being bitten came up in huge water filled patches, the oat washes and the aloe vera gel/ aquaeous carrier with pachouli, lavender and chamomile helped, sometimes I used an iced witch hazel damping on the areas in between.
Sorry to go so long, Linda:)

Jungle formula although very expensive seems pretty effective you only need a little squirt on a bot of mane, it smalls pretty industrial to me though, maybe not on sensitive broken skin, although it didnt make me come up in anything.
My friend husband works at Avon, they used the so soft , on the cast when they were making braveheart. Scotland Mozzie heaven in parts,so must have been good for them, sometimes I found it worked others not, good for certain types of insects I think.

Linda said...

Don't worry about the mask and such confusing communication, they are pretty good at body posturing head and bum positioning, it makes it pretty clear, to another pony :)

Linda said...

I remember seeing those poor show ponies that are covered literally head to tip of the tail all year, winter included for the HOYS etc, manage to communicate when they are grumpy or rats off, or just pleased to see someone. :) :)

allhorsestuff said...

Gorgeous work!

I must full mask my mare too sometimes...does not seem to hinder the equine communication-at all! I just read a natural fly repellent potion..have not tried it yet myself... 2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar- 1 Cup Water and 2 Tbs Eucalyptus Oil...have to shake it well each use. Careful of eyes/Mucus membranes .

Now I have not ever heard of the Avon SSS for animals ..would think the oil/ synthetics would bother them. I know it works on us humans...for the sickening sweet smell...but it does work!
A product called 'Calm Coat" is great for itches!

Be well, I need to visit more often, it is so beautiful here!
XO
KK

Carol Anne Strange said...

Fabulous work, Danielle! Hope dear Bethan is improving. Sending her healing well-wishes. xx

Freyalyn said...

In the horsey communities I've been involved in, Avon SSS has always been used and I've never come across any ill effects on horses at all. Of course, it can get sticky and the smell is revolting to some people, but it works on bugs and midges for people and horses.

But the citronella thing - a few drops in a squirty bottle of water - is a good one, although it does tend to evaporate quickly. I found it lingered longer by mixing citronella into a dollop of vaseline and then rubbing a bit of that along forelock and mane.

Amalia K said...

Hello Danielle :)

Your blog is so full of magical wonders, and I'm especially awed by your watercolor work! Now why haven't I fallen in here before?! I feel so utterly deprived...

Good to have found you :)

Highton-Ridley said...

Beautiful work, love those watercolours! You're so lucky to live on Dartmoor

Merri said...

of course I LOVE THE RAVEN! I spent a while yesterday not far from a Raven, watching him sit on a fence post and make some odd calls. He wasn't much bothered by me being so close, and I wondered if it was the Raven i rescued 2 years ago...
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Jazmine Debose! said...

I just started doing this whole blog thing this morning. & havent read anyones yet until now. I just wanted to let you know(might sound weird) that your blog page is an inspiration of some sort. And cant wait to make mine look as good as yours.
Sincerly,
Jazziee[:

goruntulu sohbet said...

thank you very very nice

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