Barn Clothes… My Life on the Fashion Don’t List!

I felt compelled to re-post this blog today…  I wrote it in 2010 (only 4 months after I started the blog) and this was the first time I ventured to write with humor.    I hope you enjoy it!

Barn Clothes… My Life on the Fashion Don’t List!

When did this happen?  When did I become a fashion don’t?  I mean, I consider myself somewhat current with all the trends.  Stores in Malibu know me by my credit card number.  I read W and work in the world of film production… how did I go so horribly wrong?

It happened with Barn Clothes.  Instead of picking out my barn clothes with care, they became a classification like “good clothes” or “play clothes”.  I mean there are catalogs filled with fashionable barn clothes.  But for me, somehow, I’ve jumped the shark.  I hear myself saying, “Oh, don’t throw that out, I’ll use it in the barn…”  or “Heck, that’s still good…”  Sound familiar?  When did this happen?  Am I wearing to the barn the “cotton duster” of my era?

OK, backpedaling, perhaps this malfeasance of couture happens out of respect for fashion.  Maybe I am just protecting “nice” clothes from the disgrace of barn use.  Maybe I don’t want to wreck anything good. Or, maybe I’m just cheap.  Dunno.  I do know that I wonder how other barn owners are beautifully coiffed and always look so good when I go to their barns.  I don’t know why I cannot EVER look like that.  I always look like I just chased down a runaway through thickets and barbed wire, navigated a muddy hill, jumped the colt, administered several doctoring things (including stitches) and just made it back to the barn as it started to rain…  I always look disheveled.  Have I given up?   Or maybe it is just situational.

For example, if you go to someone else’s barn, you dress for the occasion.  And, if you are having others over, you tend to spiff up a bit.  But, when it is just you, the horses and the elements, all bets are off.  Situational.

You see, once I had my own barn, that’s when it all started to go to heck in a handbasket.  Having a barn tipped it for me.  Do you know what I mean?  When you have a barn, no one is there to say anything.  So, for me, my social conscious went out the window.  I think I’m kinda like the Mad Hatter…  Function vs Form.  I mean at first, I was pretty good.  I always wore the right shoes to the barn and had the right amount of fresh clothing for the right task.  But, as time went on, I’ve found myself covering my nightie with my barn coat and tip toeing out in my flip flops to make sure I turned off the water at 10pm.  Or, I’ve scuffed out to the barn in my slippers when the ground was “dry enough”.  And, truth to tell, I’ve certainly gone out there without my Maidenform…

Bless my enduring husband who has seen me with the absolute worst ensembles and has not even allowed a visual start or hiccup in his morning kiss goodbye.  Usually it goes something like this:  I’ve pulled on some pants that are fitting for feeding, a top, an overtop sweatshirt, a barn coat, some type of hat, some socks and appropriate shoes.  Now, not all of this is from the clean pile and not all of it is coordinated.  So, as he leaves (all showered and perfect), he drives by the barn and I emerge, full of hair, hay –and whatever else I was just doing — to reach in through the window and give him a kiss.  Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in his side view mirror and I let out a little yelp.  Ack!  But, my saintly and very smart hubby never says a word… This morning was one such morning.  And hence this post…  I am going to come clean and tell the world what has happened to me.  Perhaps it will help in the healing…  ;)


Warm Barn CoatIn my classification, the warm barn coat could be anything.  Most often it is from Costco, a Farm store, Salvation Army, a yard sale or perhaps your husband’s discarded work jacket.  The brand names vary from something no one has ever heard of to Woolrich, Carhart or Kirkland, which aren’t really ever associated with fashion so it isn’t really my fault that I’ve gone awry with the Warm Barn Coat.  But, to be honest with myself, the Warm Barn Coat that I own has a twist.  My barn coat has splotches of purple stains around the frayed wrists from applying Thrushbuster.  It has sunny yellow, washed-in permanent stains from worming day.  My coat has two buttons missing and one pocket torn.  However, the pocket that is torn is my left pocket so the coat is still good in my estimation.  Oh, and, let’s not forget, there are no more strings to tighten the hood or the waist so I do look like the Grim Reaper if you see me in silhouette.  I just cannot part with my green and blue plaid friend.  Although its pockets are riddled with hayseeds and other sharp but natural tip-of-finger piercing needles, I cherish it like a nummy blanket.  Why?  I have no idea.  I tell myself it is because I have not been able to find the exact same style again — and there may be a reason for that if you look at the picture provided…

Heavy Duty barn coat:  This is the one you wear all winter.  Underneath, you can hide anything from your jammies to your evening wear and it all stays hay free.  This is the coat that has down feathers, fiberfill or other such warm innerds, a hood that stays tight, a zipper that works and many pockets to stash all your winter needs so you can spend as little time outside as possible.  This coat should have ample pocket storage to house: hay knife, thermometer, stethoscope, extra skull cap, wormer, apple core, hoof pick, Tea Tree spray, reading glasses and carrot pieces.

I generally get a new heavy duty barn coat every year because it takes a beating.  I do wear it everyday, twice a day, rain or shine.  Sadly however, I have never given myself the Irish Oilskin, the Orvis or the Aussie Outback version.  I tend to continue to use whatever I find…   “OMG!  Old Navy has this hideous coat on sale for 70% off!!  I don’t know why no one bought it.  It would be a perfect barn coat!  What color would  you say that is?  Pea green what?  Oh, it doesn’t matter… it will be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.”   I have one already ready for next year.  It is two sizes too big and a color not found in nature other than when viewing food that has come up.  But, I am greatly looking forward to ripping off the tags come winter and parading about in my new cold weather barn coat that I got at such a steal!

Good Barn Coat:  This is the coat you wear when you think someone might come by.  This is the coat you run inside and grab when you hear the propane truck come rumbling up the road…  My good barn coat is my Carhart.  It is green, which I think is fashionable since it was a unique color for that year.  It is clean (sort-of) and has all of its snaps and important bits.  But, when I really analyze my choices, I see that my good barn coat is still basically a man’s work coat in size SM.  When did this happen to me?  When did a small sized mens coat become my “good” coat?  I guess it is because I compare it to my other barn goodies..

Barn pants:  I’m a bit saddened to say that my barn pants are probably worse than my barn coats.  I have two categories.  I have warm barn pants and summer barn pants.  Both are not too flattering.  My winter barn pants are actually warm yoga pants that I got from a wonderful catalog called Athleta.  I like them a lot.  The issue is that I have worn them every day for several winters. Yes, they have held up.  But, after a million washings, they don’t quite look like Christie Brinkley in the barn anymore…  My other pants are Kirkland brand, lightweight jammy pants.  You’ve seen them.  They come in packets of 3 and in colors that are only proper on toddlers.  Yup.  I have several pairs of those.  And, I guess if I wore them alone, that would be OK.  But, my offense seems to be with my pairings.  I tend to not notice what I put with my plaid Costco pants.  Therein lies the issue.  Read on…

Barn shirts:  Barn shirts depend solely upon comfort.  What is the temperature?  That is how I decide what to wear on top.  Do I need an underlayer?  Do I need a shirt?  Do I need an outer layer?  I check off each of these categories and pull from whichever clothes piles apply.  Matching never even enters my mind.  Here again, function over form.  I have been caught (the only time my husband actually let out a snigger) in a flowy and flowery printed tank top with my Costco plaid clown bottoms.  I was comfortable and never thought twice.  Yikes.  However, I do enlist the famous Denim work shirt whenever needed.  This is big and baggy yet light weight (actually, it comes in several weights…) so I throw that on when the farrier comes or the vet.  (Looking back, I guess a denim shirt with clown pants is kinda funny, too.  They’ve never said anything.)

Barn shoes:  Barn shoes, for me, depend upon the ground and whether I need to wear socks.  I have my glorious muck boots for that dreadful block of time when the ground becomes mud.  Those are lifesavers — if you have ever left your boot behind you in the mud, you know what I mean — and I love them.  However, I don’t clean them after every use.  I also have my mid range muck boots for slightly loose soil but nothing a good mucker couldn’t handle.  I get a new pair every season because these are my work horses.  And, to round out the list, I have the slip ons of various persuasions.  These used to be real shoes but then got relegated to the “barn” pile.  These shoes I wear without socks to run down to the barn.  They sit by the door, just waiting for me to slide in and run down to feed.  These guys are dirty, worn to the exact form of my feet and get thrown out after every summer.  And, if I needed to replace any of these beauties, I’d get online and probably do Ebay.  My biggest offense with barn shoes is my occasional act of quickly hopping into my car and heading to town before glancing at my feet and cringing!  Well, at least I threw out my Crocs is all I can say when I do this…  Oy.

Barn hats:  Last but not least, the most hilarious yet serious category, Barn hats.  I am one of those people that wouldn’t be caught dead in a bad hat.  I would go outside in a blizzard hatless then go outside in an ugly head protection device.  Again, the issue of social conscious rears its ugly head.  At home, in my own barn, I have a multitude of awful but fully functional head wear.  My favorite winter number is a hat my husband bought for me.  I think it may have been a joke but I took it seriously.  It is made of yak hair, complete with a top tassle and ties.  I wear it every day during bad weather.  I think I tell myself that if he gave it to me, it has to be OK.  (I can hear him sighing somewhere…)  And on less than awful days, but still hatworthy days, I wear a red skull cap or a very pilly fleece ski cap stolen from Elmer Fudd.  Both leave much to be desired in the fashion arena.  And, here again, function over fashion seems to be my motto.  What I find really funny is that at Xmas last year while shopping at an Import store, I overheard someone in the hat section comment, “Who wears yak anyway??!”  I just smiled and told them how warm it is…

I guess the only redeeming thing here in my life on the fashion Don’t List is that I understand my affliction.  Barnclothesitis.  I’ve got it.  Bad.






HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

We are ALMOST THERE for the Morgan Hill 10!  Click to read the story!

We are ALMOST THERE for the Morgan Hill 10! Click to read the story!


Our area has a local Trail Rider’s Association called Gold Country Trails Council.  I am not a very visible member and I don’t participate in much (my ba – no time), but I do pay my dues and get involved with their email information system – which I love!

If you don’t have a trails association in your area, you might consider forming one just for the email perks!  We are constantly keeping each other aware of whatever is happening, what needs to be done, what is selling, who is moving, medical news, virus outbreaks, bear sightings, dental specials… and it is great!

As an example of this great system, this week we all learned about this incredibly tenacious vet from Bend, Oregon, who took it upon himself to create a vaccine for Pigeon Fever.  (I’ve written about Pigeon Fever previously here… the internal type is often fatal.)

Wow!  Good going, Doc!

The original article is linked here.

Click image to go to the original article.

Click image to go to the original article.


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Bend-based veterinarian develops vaccine for Pigeon Fever

In the late summer and early fall of 2011, Dr. Patrick Young found himself treating horses on a daily basis for pigeon fever, a painful and debilitating disease.

“I just felt sorry for the horses and their owners,” says Young, an equine lameness and sports medicine veterinarian at The Athletic Horse in Bend.

So he did what anyone who studied both animal and biomedical sciences would do, of course: He developed a vaccine.

What is pigeon fever?

Pigeon fever (also called pigeon breast, dryland distemper, and Colorado strangles) is a bacterial infection characterized by deep intramuscular abscesses, says Dr. Paul Edmonds of Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic in Redmond.

It’s highly contagious and very painful but rarely fatal.

The abscess formations most commonly appear externally in the pectoral area by the breast muscles, along the midline or underside of the belly, or in the armpit or groin.

The abscesses cause a puffed-out appearance resembling a pigeon’s breast, which is how the disease gets its name.

Abscesses may appear internally in the horse’s lungs, liver, kidneys or other organs, and the lymph nodes and legs can also be affected.

Other symptoms include lethargy, stiffness and lameness from the pain and swelling, lack of appetite or fever, Edmonds says.

Pigeon fever occurs most commonly during dry months, when the bacteria thrive and flies are more prevalent.

The bacteria most likely enter a horse’s body through an open wound or fly bite or through mucous membranes.

The state doesn’t track infectious diseases in horses or other animals, but Edmonds says cases of pigeon fever do occur in Oregon annually.

“Incidence of disease fluctuates from year to year, possibly due to herd immunity and environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall,” he says.

Treatment typically involves lancing and draining the abscesses and occasionally a course of antibiotics.

Dr. Patrick Young hopes the vaccine will be available in 18 to 24 months.

The making of a vaccine

Because treatment can be such a long process – horses can take months to recover – and no vaccine had yet been developed, Young was motivated.

“I felt like I needed a vaccine for pigeon fever disease so that I could help protect my clients and patients,” he says.

A former Oklahoma resident, Young was in Central Oregon competing in the Pacific Crest triathlon when heard about the Bend Venture Conference.

After attending the event in October, he was inspired to pursue a vaccine and launch his biotechnology startup, Bird Dog Bioventures.

Young and his family moved to Central Oregon in June, and he relocated his veterinary practice to Bend.

To develop the vaccine, Young isolated the bacteria that causes pigeon fever from an equine patient in Oklahoma, cultured it and outsourced the vaccine development to Colorado Serum Company.

They purified, sterilized and inactivated the bacteria and added it to adjuvants, which stimulate the immune system.

After testing the vaccine’s safety, he conducted small clinical trials on horses in Oklahoma.

Three titers (tests that indicate an animal’s protection against a disease by measuring the levels of antibodies present in its blood) revealed the horses had developed a strong immune response.

“This technology’s not new,” Young says. “It’s just that nobody really jumped on board and said, ‘Why don’t we make a vaccine for this?”

Large biotechnology companies have little interest in pursuing vaccines that have only regional incidence, he says, preferring to invest in vaccines that can generate millions of dollars annually.

“They saw this as a risk and didn’t invest their resources,” he says, “so I did.”

Young is working towards a conditional license with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with Colorado Serum and expects the vaccine will be available in about 18 to 24 months.

The USDA regulations prohibit him from using his existing vaccine across state lines.

If finds a horse with the disease here in Oregon, however, he could develop a local vaccine that would be available sooner.

In the meantime, Young is already working on several other projects, including a vaccine that would protect dogs against salmon poisoning, a potentially fatal condition that can affect dogs that eat raw fish in Northwest.

“My goal is not to get filthy rich doing this,” he says. “I just want to help do my part to help protect animals and their owners and give back the best I can.”

Preventing pigeon fever

Since flies are likely a primary means of transmitting pigeon fever, fly control is one of the most effective ways for preventing it.
Fly spray, sheets or repellents, as well as thorough manure cleanup, can limit the risk of disease.
Fly control is especially important if you have an infected horse on your property.
Get rid of any contaminated bedding or material used in treatment, clean stalls occupied by an infected horse and disinfect any equipment used on the horse.
Wear gloves when handling an infected horse, and change your clothes before handling a healthy horse. The bacteria can be carried on equipment, boots, tools or human hands.
Don’t use the same rakes, pitchforks or equipment to remove manure from other stalls if they were used in the stall of an infected horse.
Remove the top layer of soil in the area where the wound was drained, replacing it with clean soil or bedding.
Disinfectants such as bleach don’t work well on organic debris like dirt or manure, so don’t pour them on the ground.
The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association recommends examining your horse’s undersides daily for swelling.
Cattle, sheep and goats can also be infected with the bacteria.
–Sources: Dr. Paul Edmonds; Oregon Veterinary Medical Association



ANY PROCEEDS FROM JEWELRY PURCHASED THROUGH JWP WILL GO TOWARDS THESE HORSES!  I will be adding new pieces daily to keep it fresh so keep checking back!  JWP FB linked here.

CLICK IMAGE to see new pieces daily!  All jewelry will benefit the Bucket Fund!  Click here!

CLICK IMAGE to see new pieces daily! All jewelry will benefit the Bucket Fund! Click here!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

We are almost there for the Morgan Hill 10!  Know that ERC is mounting a battle to get justice from these horses, the remaining horses and the colt who died.  Click image to read!

We are almost there for the Morgan Hill 10! Know that ERC is mounting a battle to get justice from these horses, the remaining horses and the colt who died. Click image to read!