Tips and news bits for the garden, kitchen or the barn with a little retail thrown in

Knowing when to let go

It’s your worst nightmare when the Vet pulls up and informs you that you have to make a decision to let your horse go. Basically what they are looking for is the authorization to administer the drug that will stop your horses heart from beating.  There are just a few seconds that you have to say goodbye to someone who has been apart of your life for 15+ years.  Through good times and bad, ups and downs. The call was not easy but necessary and to ensures that there would be no pain we made that very decision in July. This mare was so stubborn I thought that she would outlive all the other horses in the field. Aren’t they supposed to last forever?

Well here we are again with another horse who has experienced a condition known as RAO or COPD.  Whichever you way you say it the result is the same.  Your HORSE can not catch his breath. A breath he takes is labored.  Some days are good and some days are bad. Treatment includes drugs such as Dexamethasone, Ventipulmin and more.  We have changed regimes several times over the course of three years.  We are not sure what the trigger was for this horse – it could have been dust, molds, ammonia.  Anyone of these could have started the spiral downward.  Three years later with one of the hottest summers on record and high humidity levels and Ace is on Dex daily to assist his breathing difficulties.  Heat really isn’t the issue because he has been body clipped to the skin. HUMIDITY is the killer. He has his good days and then he has bad days. Ace has such a strong will to live.  He LIVES to EAT.  Loves to EAT.  I’ve never seen another horse who lived to eat the way this one does.

It’s such a hard decision because we have chosen to be caregivers to our horses from the point of purchase.  When is the right time to let them go?  Will tomorrow be a better day?  After all, everyone has a bad day once in a while.  Would you know when to let go?  It has literally taken me 6 months to write this post because it hurt so bad.

I know it’s getting closer to let ACE go because he’s just so tired and has lost weight.  He a young 22 year old stout built quarter horse.  I remember the first day I saw him and thought that he would be an awesome cow horse for me.  We did some team penning and some trail riding but he also did some local shows taking some ribbons for western pleasure.  I do not think that there will be another horse like her or like him.   I feel very fortunate to have had the time (better than 15 years with each one).

I know the day that we lose him will be the hardest but I want to cherish all the memories.  If you you have lost a horse, dog or cat feel free to share a personal memory hee.



Santa Clause is coming to Town – Are you ready?

Once again, we are in the final hours.  Christmas is coming and I don’t feel ready!  Not overly stressed because everyone that I would be buying for has “everything” so this year I will just concentrate on getting gift certificates and some home-made goodies. Surely, they would be happier picking out their own presents.


Hobby Hill Farm offers gift certificates in addition to physical merchandise.  You can send someone a certificate to pick out something awfully cute at the retail store or even to take a food related class like our Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making class.  We limit our classes to 6 so that you receive individualized instruction. New classes are coming out starting in February so be sure to click the link on our website –

Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you at an event in the area or at our store in Powhatan,VA.







Subhay Costume Subway becomes Subhay

Halloween Decor for You & Your Pet

Halloween is right around the corner.  You decorate your house with Pumpkins, Corn Stalks and beautiful Garden Flags.  Why not decorate your pet? Tons of commercial products available for Dogs & Cats but not so much for Horses so start thinking about it now.

Outdoor Fall Festivals are in full swing and dogs on leashes are allowed at most.  What does your best friend wear?  My dog has never dressed up for an event so I am going to try something new. I also plan on dressing up my horse.  I wish I had thought of the captioned photo.  It’s right on the mark.

That’s okay there are several sites out there where you can get some inspiration.  I started my search via Facebook and landed on Pinterest creating a board to save those unique costumes.  You can see our Pinterest board here. Feel free to re-pin our pictures on your page. Looking forward to cooler weather and having some outdoor time with our dog and horses.

Puppy Power

Puppy Power



Fly it Flag

If the Broom Fits

Artisan Bread Classes Artisan Bread

Classes by Hobby Hill Farm

Are you interested in learning how to make cheese or bread?  Looking to add more probiotics to your diet?  How about learning to make Jams & Jellies?  These are all classes taught by Hobby Hill Farm via our Foods division.  A little over 5 years ago we started making consumables.  After all, everyone loves to eat right?  Our classes are so popular that we are in 12 counties now.  If you are interested in hosting a class or looking to sign up for one in your neck of the woods just contact us and we will help you set up a class or connect you with the person who sets up classes in your counties.  We feel so lucky  to be able to offer these options to our customers.


Ladies – Sign up your friends and lets have a Bread Party

Hobby Hill Farm is on Pinterest Follow us - Hobby Hill Farm

Pinterest Pinning Boards from Hobby Hill Farm

Have you checked out our Pinterest Pinning Boards lately? Our businesses – Hobby Hill Farm and Hobby Hill Farm Fresh are both on the Pinterest Newsfeeds.

Categories include – Animals, Food, Products and more.  Pinners can follow boards or people and businesses. If you are like us then you are always on the hunt for the newest and latest pin that will help out at the farm, in the kitchen or will make things a little bit easier and definitely more interesting.

Click here to see our boards.  You can “LIKE” and Re-Pin any of our pictures or posts to your board.  Comments are appreciated.

Pinterest is a great way to save that all important recipe, directions or pictures for that next big party you are planning.  Not sure how to get started.  Click over to and sign up for an account. You don’t need to be invited to begin pinning.  Have a blast!!


Night time clothing - off the charts FUN Nightshirts and PJ Sets

Staying warm doesn’t have to be boring – try our new Lazy One Sleepwear

Staying warm at night doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, our Lazy One sleepwear is COOL & FUN.  Available in Women’s, Juniors and Children.  No worries getting the kiddos to bed when they put on a pair of Lazy One Sleepwear. Horses, Moose & Bears Oh My – what fun it is to get ready for bed.  Made from 100% cotton these PJ’s, Night Shirts and Onesies are the perfect gift for everyone!

Pick up your sleepwear from Hobby Hill Farm

Pick them up at Hobby Hill Farm.


Identify and Protect your Leather with Hobby Hill Farm


Tooled Leather Backpack\

Identify and Protect Your Leather

A quality leather item is an investment. It is very important to identify and protect your leather in order to able to use it for years to come. Here are some tips to keep your leather in great shape. The first step you will want to do, is to identify which type of leather your bag is made from.

Most leather bags are vegetable-tanned with tannin. It is the only form of leather suitable for use in leather carving or stamping. Downside: Vegetable-tanned leather handbags are not stable in water; they tend to discolor, so if left wet then it will shrink and become harder.

Chrome-tanned is more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather and does not discolor or lose shape as drastically in water as vegetable-tanned. It is also known as wet-blue for its color derived from the chromium. It is reported that chrome-tanned leather adds up to 80% of the global leather supply.

Full-grain is premium-grade hide that has not been buffed, to showcase the skin’s natural “grain” or texture.

Top-grain: is easier on your wallet, this is a thinner leather and has had its natural grain corrected by sanding away scars.

Patent leather and exotics, with their high gloss are just two other examples of the other finishes and leather types available on the market today.

Nubuck is top-grain hide, sanded on the grain or hair side to achieve a nap; short fibers that yield a soft, velvety texture. Scratches are very visible, and care involves regular brushing of the nap to remove dirt.

Suede is often confused with nubuck, but is made from the underside of the hide, resulting in a longer nap. Easily stained and matted, treatment options for suede are much the same as for nubuck.

The general principle is simple: remove dirt build-up by wiping down with a cleaner made specifically for the leather in question.
Every other day, give your bag a brisk sweep with a soft dry cloth—this won’t take more than a few minutes, but will go miles towards preserving the appearance of your leather.

To clean nubuck and suede you will want to spot clean by using a rubber eraser to remove dirt and smudges. Then, brush lightly with a soft brush specifically made for suede and nubuck products. A spray protectant works best for these types of leather.

Think of conditioning as moisturizer for your leather, which will dry out over time. To prevent flaking and wrinkling, apply a small amount of conditioner on a soft cloth and rub gently all over.
Try mink or neatsfoot oil, which simulate and supplement the natural oils of leather. Leave on for 10 minutes, and then wipe off the excess. Dry thoroughly in an airy room. Condition every month or so to keep your leather looking its shiny best.

Leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof, so avoid toting your favorite leather bag in bad weather. Nonetheless, there are beeswax creams which function as a barrier against water. Word of caution: beeswax may alter the hue of dyed leather, so test first on an inconspicuous spot. A more breathable but less effective alternative: a spray protectant, which is virtually invisible on your bags.

Store your bag in a dust bag and fill it with stuffing, never use newspaper because the ink will smear and stain the leather.
Take measures to make sure your bag doesn’t get damp from humidity and mold. Air once every two weeks to halt the growth of mold.

Let water spills dry naturally. High-heat measures like using a hairdryer will only cause the skin to crinkle beyond salvage.

If you properly care for your leather items, they will last for many years to come.

Equine Cooling Vest in Purple Abby wearing Purple Equine Cooling Vest

Cooling Vest for Horses

Water activated cooling vests are easy to apply. Watch our video for strap placement and too see how the garment should fit. Order from

The AQHA has put out an excellent article this week for horse owners to follow before exercising their Equines. Here is the link to the article – Heat Stress for Horses

Extreme heat can lead to dehydration, tying up, heat exhaustion, colic and even death. Dr. Justin Voge of Hartman Equine in Whitesboro, Texas and Dr. Elaine Carpenter of Cave Creek Equine in Phoenix, Arizona, strongly recommend using common sense when determining whether or not your horse is at risk for these conditions.

“We advise to not exercise your horse in the heat of the day,” Dr. Carpenter says. “Pick early morning or late evening when it’s cooler to ride or work your horse.”
That said, even in cooler parts of the day during the summer, take extra care to properly warm up and cool your horse down.
“Just be sensible. If it’s hot out and you’re hot, think about how hard you work your horse. A fit horse can handle it better than a horse that’s not fit,” Dr. Carpenter says.

In a nutshell – “When the heat index exceeds 180, do not exercise horses because the horse’s heat dissipation systems will not be adequate to prevent heat stress.”

Staying cool at the Hanover Tomato Festival Staying cool at the Hanover Tomato Festival

Cooling Vests with Hobby Hill Farm’s Cooling Vest at the Hanover Tomato Festival

The second Saturday in July marks the annual Hanover Tomato Festival. The festival is a celebration of, you guessed it, Hanover Tomatoes. The Hanover Tomato Festival was started in 1978 and has grown exponentially over the years. All the proceeds go to benefit the local fire department. I’m sure it was a hot and humid now as it was back then. What is the best way to stay cool?

When I arrived at 9am on Saturday, July 8th, Sharon was already there and our booth was set up and ready to go. She had been there since  7:30am and was already wearing her Zip-Up Water Activated Cooling Vest.

Soon, things were in full swing and I quickly realized I had made a mistake by thinking I would be fine for a bit longer. The temperature quickly climbed to 95+, with a heat index of over 100 degrees!

I decide to dunk my vest in our melted ice, from the cooler. Ahhh, relief. As people walked by, I noticed they were using whatever they had to fan themselves. Even the pets that were there were terribly hot. At least they had a kiddy pool to cool off in.

Sharon and I kept very comfortable in our Zip-Up Cooling Vests. In case your wondering, the cooling fabric is made out of a special material, called Hydroweave and works through the process of evaporation. Depending on the conditions, you can get up to six hours of cooling benefits before needing to reactivate it.

If you would like to learn or to purchase more regarding our cooling products, just click the link:

I for one know how well these items work!

Hope to see you at next year’s Hanover Tomato Festival with your cooling products from Hobby Hill Farm!




Staying cool at the Hanover Tomato Festival

Staying cool at the Hanover Tomato Festival

Booth is ready

Booth is ready

Equine Cooling Vest in Purple Abby wearing Purple Equine Cooling Vest

Equine Cooling Vests reduce Heat related illness

It’s a fact – we cannot read our horses minds and they cannot speak to us when it is related to heat stress or stroke.  We can only watch for the signs of discomfort.  As a horse-owner for nearly 20 years I thought I saw it all from cuts to colic. This can be treated with medication.  The question you should be asking is “How can you stay on top of heat related illness?”  This is simple – take care of the external with our Equine Cooling Vests. Equine Cooling Vests reduce heat related illness.

Cooling with the use of Fans, Sprinklers, and Hydration are all within our immediate grasp except when we are on the Trail.  Whether you are on a short ride or a long ride you have to plan ahead.  One of the items we bring when trailering off-site is our water activated cooling vest for our horses.  So easy to use.  We activate the vest prior to leaving with some water  in a ziploc bag or bucket.  The water does not have to be hot and since there are no beads or gels we know our horses will not be exposed to toxic chemicals or vapors.

Once activated the vest can be applied with the two adjustable elastic straps. Criss-Cross over the back and the vest fits comfortably along the horse’s chest.  In addition, this vest works on evaporative cooling due to the special fibers that create the Hydroweave fabric. This technology has been in place for well over 10 years starting out in the medical field and then working it’s way into recreational areas.  First Responders to Racecar drivers have used this fabric. The fabric can be washed and dried naturally or in the dryer.  The fibers in this material take anywhere from 24-48 hours to thoroughly dry thus proving it’s ability to hold water to assist in the cooling process. Equine Cooling Vests reduce heat related illness by evaporating the heat along the chest wall keeping the heart and lungs cool.

Who in the Equine industry needs this vest?  EVERYONE   Now is the time to purchase these products .  Yours horses will thank you!