Kim Lemmon

Kim Lemmon has been a member of the Ohio's Country Journal staff since 1999. She is currently the manager editor.

Kim graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Equine Science. Kim and her husband, Mark, reside in Marion County.

The Lemmons currently own miniature horses. They also breed and raise a few pygmy goats each year.

Kim has owned horses since she was a child and has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry since that time. From 2002 until 2010, Kim operated her own riding lesson program that included coaching 4-H members, adults and a college equestrian program. She is also a former 4-H horse judge.

Draft horse is 24-year fair veteran

It is not rare to find families that enjoy showing at their local county fair year after year, but what is rare is that for the last 24 years Ron and Susan Timmons have been able to show Dixie, their Belgian mare, at the Morrow County Fair every year.

Twenty-four years ago, Ron brought Dixie home from a sale as a weanling as a surprise for Susan. Since that time, Dixie as become a regular at the Morrow County Fair. She has been shown at the fair in various events during the annual draft horse show during every year of her life.

Dixie still looks great and is healthy and was able to compete at the 2013 Morrow County Fair in Belgian Mare Halter and in the draft horse cart classes. She still seems to enjoy her time at the fair and in the show arena.

This type of longevity in the draft horse show arena is unique and speaks to the quality of the horse and the care she receives.… Continue reading

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Hair color: It’s not just for humans anymore

Readying livestock for any kind fair or show is always a lot of work, but because I have chosen to own and show miniatures with Appaloosa patterns I always have more white to scrub daily during the fair than the average exhibitor.

I’m lucky because my draft horse is black, but she does have one white leg. To cut down on white areas that need scrubbing, I have always purchased spray paint for livestock and painted her leg during the fair, but the color constantly rubs off and needs reapplied.

I’ve known for a while that many folks in the draft horse world use human hair dye to color their horses’ coats, but I had never considered it as an option for me. I understand why they color the coats — it is legal at draft horse shows and really how often are you going to find six horses for a hitch class that match perfectly.… Continue reading

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Hair dryer offers cure for bug bites

Everyone who lives in the country has had their share of bug bites, but bugs find me especially attractive. I can’t go outside and not be bitten by something. I’m somewhat used to having a bug bite or two, but recently I had a major reaction to bug bites.

I was in the barn clipping some long hair off my mini horses when I felt something bite me on my back. I felt the bug viciously bite me a few more times, but I tried to continue with my work. I remember the bites being painful, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

After I finished my work, I returned to the house and looked in the mirror so I could see the damage from the attack. I was horrified to find a series of bites and a very red and angry looking space on my back that was approximately 6 inches by 4 inches.… Continue reading

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Up close and personal with draft horses at the Ohio State Fair

The 2013 Ohio State Fair Draft Horse Show served as another great opportunity for me to collect photos, videos, and information for current and upcoming stories for our online news site as well as for future issues of Ohio’s Country Journal.

I had a great time and learned much while covering the event. Make sure you take a look at the photos and video from the draft horse show held at the Fair.

One of the highlights for the week for me was meeting a very famous Belgian gelding. Make sure you read about him and watch a short video of him in action at the Fair.

While I was snapping photos of an exhibitor for an upcoming issue of Ohio’s Country Journal, I also captured many other participants in action. There is a photo gallery from the show online. Take a look. You might just see someone you know.… Continue reading

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Meeting the famous Belgian gelding “Chuck”

Every year when I attend the Ohio State Fair draft horse show, I sit next to my friend Ron Wilson, and I listen to him tell stories about a famous Belgian gelding that he bred on his farm near Zanesville.

The stories about this gelding named Chuck get a little more involved every year as Ron tries to point Chuck out to me in the hitches. I have to admit that I’ve always harbored a little doubt about the truth in his tales of Chuck because Ron is a great storyteller and enjoys teasing me.

This year my assignment for a future Ohio’s Country Journal article led me directly to the supposed owners of Chuck, the Hammersmiths of Defiance. One of the first questions I asked their driver, Jason Honsberger, was whether or not there was actually a horse in the hitch that was bred by Ron. As it turns out, Ron wasn’t exaggerating about Chuck.… Continue reading

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I’ll take a little rain any day over a “Sharknado”

The weather in Ohio has been even more unpredictable than normal the past few years. If it isn’t a drought, we are nearly drowned with rain. The storms a few weeks ago caused damage to crops and structures that is still being felt in many areas of the state.

As farmers and landowners clean up the messes and assess the damage from those storms, they must often shake their heads and wonder why they can’t just order a year of “normal” weather. My take on the weather is that it could always be worse; at least the most recent and devastating round of storms wasn’t a “Sharknado.”

Last week the SyFy channel released “Sharknado,” a bizarre movie they created about a shark tornado that hits California. Literally, thousands of sharks flow through flooded streets and storm drainage systems and eventually fly through the air as a tornado flings them at unsuspecting citizens.… Continue reading

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Barnyard companions develop friendships of all sizes

My barn houses critters of all shapes and sizes. There are several barn cats in addition to one draft horse and several miniature horses.

It has always been apparent that the cats love the miniature horses. The cats like to bring “presents” back to the mini horses to document their adventures. It is not uncommon to find pieces of dead birds and rodents within the miniature horse stalls. I think it is the cats’ way of making friends with the horses. It has never been quite so clear what the draft mare thinks of the minis.

A new problem developed in the barn this summer as I tried to make room to house the mini stallion away from the mini mares and give plenty of room to the mini mare and her foal while still keeping all the horses happy and with access to shelter. The draft mare had never had a permanent companion.… Continue reading

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Advice from “The Incredible Dr. Pol” saves lives

After I wrote a blog called “Shirtless: Calf pulling the Dr. Pol way” in January of 2013, it became apparent pretty quickly that not everyone is a fan of Dr. Pol. I, however, still love the show and now more than ever I have reasons to continue watching — two to be exact.

Although Dr. Pol’s show is not meant to teach veterinary techniques, it does show many veterinary procedures, and I do learn a lot from watching it. I have a special interest in his tips and methods because of the lack of large animal veterinarians in my county. Although I am not a vet, in the past I have often had to assist with goat births at my barn because no vets were available in an emergency. It helps to learn as much as you can no matter the source in case it would become handy in the future.… Continue reading

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Unique Amish weed eater (not a goat)

When I travel through Amish communities in Ohio, I often see goats tied along the road. The goats are tied in areas that would be difficult to mow and would require the use of a weed eater. The goats always seem content, and I’m sure somewhere at each farm with a goat tied and working as a weed eater there’s an equally happy Amish family that doesn’t have to find other means to remove the grass and weeds.

I’m known for my hatred for English style mechanical weed eaters. I always run out of string or the dumb thing won’t start. Then when it actually does the job, my arms get so tired in such a short amount of time that the entire process is always an irritating one. I’m constantly looking for ways around using the weed eater.

I recently saw an Amish style weed eater that was new to me.… Continue reading

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I’m a horse dreamer, not a trader

Throughout the horse community, many horse owners categorize folks who buy and sell several horses a year as “horse traders.” The term is always used in a derogatory and negative way. Often, news travels fast and gossip out-weighs facts and a person can be categorized as a horse trader pretty easily. Due to the negative connotations of the term, a person can easily have their reputation damaged and sales or business influenced negatively.

I myself have a history of buying and selling many horses, but I do not consider myself a horse trader — at least not in a negative sense. Horse sales and purchases have even been more active than usual at my barn this past year. I say I’m stimulating the equine economy, but my family has even been teasing me. They accuse me of owning a revolving barn door, and they often laugh and ask me not to sell my newest equine addition until they have had a chance to visit and see the horse.… Continue reading

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Long ears and tall stories

Lately, I’ve been out of the office more than normal to collect information for upcoming Ohio’s Country Journal articles. Invariably, my hosts and I get somewhat off the topic of the upcoming article for which I’m supposed to collect information, but I always learn all kinds of things no matter the topic.

Recently, I was visiting with Joe Reed of Fredericktown, Ohio, for a story on farming with horses. What I didn’t know before the visit was that Joe shears sheep and raises a few mules as well. I couldn’t fit all the information he shared about mules, sheep, and Great Pyrenees into the story on farming with horses, but I couldn’t resist sharing some his stories with you in my blog.

I broke Joe’s stories down into a few topics for easy reading.


In addition, to using their Percheron horses for farming, Joe and Sally keep several draft horse mares on hand to raise foals.… Continue reading

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Getting a good scare at the Malabar Farm Night Haunt

I was recently searching the Internet for horse-related story ideas when I stumbled upon the Malabar Farm website. My search brought me to the site because of their draft horse events. I was reading about their Spring Plowing Days when I noticed that the next item on their calendar was a Night Haunt.

I started laughing and continued to read aloud about the event to Matt Reese, the editor of Ohio’s Country Journal. He said the event sounded like it would be perfect for me. I watch paranormal shows quite often at home and often relay stories at work about how my viewing of these shows plus my overactive imagination has led me to get myself into a few pickles at home.

The description of the Night Haunt at Malabar Farm on their website was “Dare to explore the ‘normal to the paranormal’ murders, cemeteries, haunted houses, hot dogs & s’mores and stories around the campfire.”… Continue reading

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Hey man, be nice to your hay man!

Most of you probably have the luxury (depending on how you look at it) of making your own hay. Making hay is terribly hard work, but if you have the equipment and hay fields from which to make it, you should consider yourself pretty lucky.

I’m one of the many horse and livestock owners that have to depend on the kindness and manpower of others to acquire a year’s supply of hay. I’m also one of those people that constantly stresses about the possibility of running out of hay.

I was fortunate enough last year to buy my hay before the drought hit, but I was afraid that last year’s hay shortage might bump some other customers up the list to purchase hay ahead of me if they were in desperately need of it. I didn’t have much hay left myself this year, and I wanted to make sure I started storing hay for the winter of 2014.… Continue reading

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Check your farm pond for mermaids

I have to admit it. I’m one of the millions that got pulled into watching “Mermaids: The Body Found” and “Mermaids: The New Evidence” this weekend. The first film was released a year ago and it has taken me an entire year to watch it. Every time the showed aired and I saw the fin-like hand against the window of an aquarium, I got scared and had to change the channel.

I guess because I never watched the original film from beginning to the end until this weekend I was a little behind the times — a year behind to be exact. The second mermaid program in this series was released this past week. I finally watched both shows because I figured that if it was airing on the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet and they had even bothered to make a follow up show that there had to be some truth to their claims.… Continue reading

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Malabar Farm Spring Plowing Days

I would venture to guess that most folks outside of the draft horse community tend to believe that plowing with horses is a job performed only by Amish farmers these days. Despite the general trend during the past 50 or 60 years toward tractors and machinery, there are still folks who use their horses to work the land.

Some of these horse owners work their horses for fun, while a determined few still use their horses regularly in all manner of work on their farms. Both types of horsemen and women were present during the 2013 Malabar Farm Spring Plowing Days.

More than a dozen teams participated in the event hosted by the Central Ohio Draft Horse Association on May 18 and 19 at Malabar Farm. All genders and ages of horse people put their teams of Percherons, Belgians and Spotted Draft horses to work during the two-day event. A few spectators also stopped by from time to time to ask questions and take photos during this event that was free to the public.… Continue reading

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Breeding livestock: It’s all about the math

Those of you that raise and breed livestock as either a hobby or as part of your livelihood know that it is not an easy task. I’ve raised and bred rabbits and goats in the past, but this year I took on the challenge of breeding horses.

This spring after surviving my first foaling season, it was time to rebreed the mares. I decided I needed to really get going with this because my mares tend to foal around 335 days. I could rebreed the mares about a week after they foaled in their foal heat or I could wait another 21 days after that for their first full heat cycle.

After a lot of thought and math, I decided I didn’t want my foals to be born in March, so I waited and didn’t breed the mares during their foal heat. This could of course mean that, if they don’t become pregnant during their first full heat cycle, that I would have foals born even later in 2014, but that was a gamble I was willing to take.… Continue reading

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ThistleDown: Second Racino opens in Ohio

Although I have been to casinos in Las Vegas, my only previous experience with live horse racing had been at county fairs. I had also never attended Thoroughbred racing before.

In April 2013, ThistleDown reopened as a Racino near Cleveland. Early in the month, the casino opened. Racing started again at the facility on April 19. ThistleDown is the second racino to open in Ohio. Scioto Downs in Columbus is the state’s first racino.

When you are used to attending horse racing only at county fairs, the facilities at ThistleDown alone can be quite impressive. At every county fair I have attended, horse racing spectators are required to sit in the heat and dust to watch the races. At ThistleDown, there is a very large area inside to view the races. You can sit outside if you wish, but I preferred to watch from climate controlled seating inside the building. The large windows make it seem like you are sitting right outside by the track even though you are seated safely away from the dust and heat behind the glass.… Continue reading

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Endless string of restless nights equals healthy filly

The nights have been nearly sleepless at my home for the last few weeks. Ever since I lost my first foal of the year, I have been on high alert in expectation of the second foal.

I have spent all my nights in recent memory fighting to stay awake as I tossed and turned and tried to pry my eyes open to make sure all was well in the barn. Needless to say, I’ve been kind of useless at home recently.

A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a beautiful little bay miniature foal on the monitor of the barn camera. I started to get up and get dressed to head to the barn to help dry the little one off when I noticed I couldn’t see the mare in the stall. I finally managed to get myself fully away and realized the foal was only in my imagination.… Continue reading

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Insanity: The price of a healthy foal?

By Kim Lemmon

Make sure you read the Horse Sense section in the May issue of Ohio’s Country Journal. It provides the details of what started my road to insanity — well at least the details about my most recent visit there.

The short version of the story is that one of my miniature mares foaled at a very early and unexpected time. The due dates the seller had given me for this mare were wildly miscalculated. I was still on high foal alert in case the mare needed help, but regardless she delivered a dead foal. Afterward, she suffered from a prolapsed horn in her uterus.

This particular mare has recovered, but the delivery of a dead foal, and the mare’s ill health after foaling, led me to develop a new course of action to protect my second bred miniature mare. Since I was already on a fairly high level of alert before the incident with the first mare, my need to ramp up my inspection and monitoring skills to ensure the health of my second mare and foal is slowly leading me down a path to insanity.… Continue reading

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Amish farmers begin spring fieldwork with horsepower

By Kim Lemmon

Every Ohioan has to be thrilled to see the grass start to turn green and to feel the warm breezes that have started to creep back into Ohio after another long winter. For me, no matter the weather, it doesn’t really feel like spring until I see some Amish farmers hitch up their horses and head to the fields.

I live near an Amish community in Morrow County. A quick 15-minute drive can take me 100 years back in time as I turn down the rural roads bordering St. Rt. 314 that are home to the nearby Amish community.

A need to visit my favorite harness maker led me to travel a little farther than the local Amish inhabited rural roads to the much-larger Amish communities located in Holmes and Wayne counties. It was apparent on this trip that spring is no longer a distant dream — it has arrived.… Continue reading

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