Horses always feel safest and most content when in the company of others of their kind. But in certain situations, you may need to quarantine a horse - both to protect his own health, and that of the equines around him.
"Leather is skin. You take care of your own skin the same way that you take care of leather. Our body generates a natural oil - the animal that was producing the oil for the leather is no longer there, so its up to us to put those naturals oils back in." Bennie Evans
With the leaves changing color, a chill in the air and horses feeling frisky, winter can't be far away. As the cold air moves in, you may be wondering if you should blanket your horse for the winter. Will your horse be warm enough without one? What if you intend to do a lot of riding, or if it is an unusually cold winter?
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.
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