A good saddle pad can often minimize saddle problems and spread pressure better, alleviating rub spots that cause sores. Today there are amazing new materials that help a pad conform to the shape of the back and custom fit each horse.
Spring brings with it each year a new crop of foals. Barns everywhere are filled with excitement as expectant mares approach their due dates. After months spent closely monitoring your mare's health and speculating on the new baby's gender, color, and temperament, your new foal will soon be on the ground.
You don't know until you find out, and a good way to find out is to ask a person who knows. But many horse owners are hesitant to ask question of their farrier. They either don't want to interrupt his work or think their questions will sound foolish. Well, here are answers to a few frequently asked questions (none of which are foolish) that have been asked of me during shoeing appointments.
Take a good look at your groom boxes. Are all the brushes clean and respectable, and the bottles and the gadgets nicely organized a la Martha Stewart? Or are your boxes equine versions of a seventh grader's gym bag? Let's be honest now. Are the brush bristles smashed down and full of grit? Is there a rusty old hoof pick lying next to a mouse nest at the bottom of the box? It's a good bet that you bought those brushes twenty years ago when you first started riding and haven't replaced them since.
If you see you a fire start in or near your barn, are you prepared to put it out? A hose connected to a hydrant will work on some fires but might make some fires worse. Having the right kind of fire extinguisher close at hand, however, could enable you to put out any type of fire - possibly saving your barn and your horses. Here's how to choose fire extinguishers suitable for your barn.
One of the questions that I'm asked frequently is, "What size seat do I need in my saddle?" This question is frequently asked over the phone and while it may seem as simple as getting the weight and height of the individual and steering them to the correct seat size, it's a lot more complicated than that.
Since horses normally are confined in closer proximity to each other in stalls or barns for extended periods of time during the winter (often in poorly-ventilated enclosures), the opportunities for disease-causing organisms are greater, according to Dr. Gary Heusner, University of Georgia Extension Service equine specialist.
In the past most folks believed that only those with large ranches and farms owned horses. Owners that didn't have a large space and pasture were usually those that paid to board their horse in a stable. Now however, you can drive down the road and a place with a small acreage is likely to have a horse or two standing out there. Keeping horses on a small acreage is not always done to the best benefit of horse or owner. The key to making this work is management. If done properly managing horses on a small acreage can work for both the owner and the horse.
Keeping horses on your property? Then you don't need me to tell you how much work there always is to do. At some point, as your operation grows, you may find that your wheelbarrow and pickup truck just aren't cutting it anymore. You need some heavy metal. You need a tractor.
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